Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drinking Death


Title: Drinking Death
Author: Mara Lee
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-802-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Vampire
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

And out of the darkness one will rise. One will breed true. One will rule.
Annaleigh Savage wants a life of her own choosing. It’s made her run far and fast to stay ahead of those trying to force her back into a world her hates…yet still they come after her. As the last Blood Princess, it’s her duty to take the throne, but what happens when the princess doesn’t want to have anything to do with the throne, court, or its advisors? All she wants is to just be herself and have friends like any other person, but it’s not to be and a battle of wills ensues. Annaleigh has to decide what’s more important; getting what she wants or keeping her friends alive. While doing so, her enemies learn the princess they thought was a pushover is anything but so they’d better watch out.

Drinking Death is book one in the Blood Princess Chronicles by Mara Lee and the first release by this author I’ve read. It has a unique and interesting premise on the life of the last pure vampire princess and it brings in a nice twist that her closest friend is a human female.

Annaleigh is herself a spunky kick-ass kind of woman -- she’s had to be to survive and the description of her life and what’s she’s been through, while given in bits and pieces, is nicely done. I enjoyed her odd and open relationship with her girlfriend, Sharon, who’s an interesting personality in her own right. Her boyfriend Zane, on the other hand, I didn’t get. I just didn’t feel their connection or their passion or why he’d be willing to die to be with her.
The descriptions of the court, the various supporting characters and the monsters used to try to rein Annaleigh in were nicely detailed and the action scenes well constructed. Yet there were portions of the book, especially in the beginning, that didn’t flow well, due to the short scene lengths, pulling the reader out of the story. I admit that I liked the last half of the book the best. These sections are where Annaleigh really came into her own -- and with the addition of the powerful vampire Nicolas to her inner group -- let’s just say that things got a whole lot more interesting.

Lucifer’s Choice


Title: Lucifer’s Choice
Author: Jianne Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-923-2
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Physically and financially, Nalini Marajh has gained freedom from her controlling family and fiancé. Two years ago, she walked out on her dutiful life and Nalini has no intention of returning to it. When the cargo ship Nalini worked on was captured, she barely escaped with her life. The silver lining from this cloud gave her the opportunity to live out a fantasy from her teenage years. One night in bed with the man she’d been moon-eyed over since they’d spent family Christmas’ together. Immediately after, Nalini planned to drop out of sight again. Kismet stepped in and her plan went up in smoke.

A rescue mission turns into a life-altering experience for Sax “Lucifer” Anders. Up until now, no woman has ever gotten over on him. After one taste of a woman who gives him strange feelings of déjà vu, Sax is hooked. When he pieces things together and realizes who Nalini is, Sax hits the roof. If he’s able to successfully end her engagement, will he be able to convince Nalini to stay, or will she disappear again?

Nalini’s parents have an old school view on life and they disagree with the choices she’s made. Because of her family’s status in India, the circumstances surrounding Nalini’s engagement had to be handled very carefully. With the help of Sax and his team, Nalini might just have everything she wants. Her family begins to accept Nalini’s independence, but now Nalini begins to question her own actions. Nalini’s inner struggle almost cost her true happiness. Sax has a big ego and likes to control things. It’s the nature of his job, so I couldn’t hold that against him. Several times he offered himself as a scapegoat to help Nalini, even though he used excuses as to why this was the only course of action. Boy, was he jealous and I loved every moment of his unease. Sax knew when to give the reins of control to Nalini and when to put his foot down. And as much as Nalini constantly tried to assert her independence, she was shocked to discover that she liked it when Sax took over. This made for some very heated love scenes between the couple.

Lucifer’s Choice is the second story of the Hades Squad series and a wonderful read. It made me appreciate the freedoms I have and reminded me that many women don’t have the luxury of choosing love. I was left wanting to learn more about every member of Sax’s team, and I look forward to starting from the beginning of this series. It’s official; I am a fan of Jianne Carlo.

Tracking Talia


Title: Tracking Talia
Author: N. J. Walters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419932045
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

The last time Talia Koslov saw Marshall Courage, he was fighting for his life after their mission had gone terribly wrong. Her patience has since been severely tested but after eight long months, she finally has him in her sights once again. By the look on Marshall’s face, to say he is surprised to lay eyes on her after everything that went down is quite the understatement. Anyone would think she’d had a choice in cutting all contact with the man after that horrible day. Maybe old wounds were better left alone, but now that Talia has finally tracked her agent down, she isn’t about to give up without a fight.

Tracking Talia is a companion piece to the author’s previous titles Tempting Tori and Lassoing Lara. I fell for Marshall Courage immediately; his tough, loner exterior hooking me in and his tender heart keeping me there, throughout his battle of wills with Talia. I was surprised at how quickly I got behind their relationship and wanted them to be together before I really even knew anything about their history. Talia is a refreshingly headstrong character who can open up her heart to another while still remaining true to herself. Between wanting to save each other from hurt while still protecting their own fragile hearts and their need to stay together after torturous time apart, Tracking Talia had just the right amount of drama, tension, frustration and passion to keep me hooked.

Embrace My Reflection


Title: Embrace My Reflection
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-063-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

For two years in high school, Lucius Montagne and Ronnie Lake were best friends and fell in love. But eventually they graduated, Lucius joined the army and he left Ronnie behind. Now a decade later, Ronnie’s a female impersonator working in a popular cabaret in New Orleans, and while he has a few good friends, he’s still mostly alone and hoping to one day see Lucius again.

Lucius, now a detective with the New Orleans Police Department, discovers Ronnie is being stalked by an obnoxious senator and rushes to his side. He’s willing to do just about anything to protect the man he still loves, but understanding why Ronnie enjoys wearing woman’s clothes might take a little longer. Can these two men overcome the obstacles of time, acceptance and a stalker to find happiness together, or will their problems be too much for them to overcome?

Embrace My Reflection is the newest release from popular multi-published author T.A Chase and this tale of forgiveness and reconciliation is one of her best, to date. Keep up the good work TA.

I’ve never read a story in which a female impersonator served as a main character and I was thrilled with Ms. Chase’s well-rounded depiction of Ronnie and his emotional strength. He’s a great guy, with a kindhearted, winning personality that you just have to like. It didn’t matter how he dressed on the outside because on the inside, he’s the sweet type of person you want for a friend. Lucius is a true Alpha male – both wonderfully protective and confident in what he wants – Ronnie.

The account of the cabaret, New Orleans and the clothes Ronnie wears are all vividly detailed, as are the various great supporting characters. The stalker portion of the plot is integrated nicely but never overshadows the growing relationship between Ronnie and Lucius. The action packed scene involving Ronnie’s stalker senator is handled well, as is the courtroom scenes near the end. Read and enjoy!

Crescendo




Title: Crescendo
Author: Leah Brooke
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-180-5
Genre: {M/F/M}, Ménage, BDSM
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Julianna goes back to her apartment after a disastrous date and ends up being helped by Nick and Steve after she falls on the way. She started her own business after her former boss kept taking credit for her designs, but after Nick and Steve meet and have her investigated, they offer her the job of decorating their newest hotel, adding a few things to the contract.

Crescendo is worthy of its name as the story keeps building, layer upon layer. Despite being over 400 pages long, this book is actually very fast paced and kept my interest to the point my husband made me stop reading so I could get some sleep. Not only is Crescendo a love story between Julianna, Nick and Steve, it has a very intense suspense storyline, as well.

Julianna just turned forty, but has never experienced the type of passion she is looking for. She is also very insecure about herself, as she is taller than most women and very independent. Julianna has some very realistic insecurities that she must overcome and she has some ideas about dominant men to overcome, as well. Nick and Steve are partners and best friends. Nick had shared a woman with a friend before. This will be the first time he and Steve have shared a woman, which causes all kinds of adjustments in attitudes. Once Nick and Steve decide Julianna is theirs, the pages steam up with each sex scene, as the chemistry between them is explosive.

Due to an enemy Steve has, there is also lots of mistrust about Julianna, due to the timing of their meeting. I think a lot of people that have businesses or money possibly would be mistrustful about motives of new people, depending on the circumstances. Things come to a head with the lives of all three threatened and an interesting twist is revealed.

Anyone that loves a good suspense story along with a BDSM ménage story will want to add this to their bookshelf. I will be reading this one again for sure.

Death by Misfortune


Title: Death by Misfortune
Author: A.M. Riley
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-072-6
Genre: {M/M} Mystery
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Closeted Homicide detective Bill Turner and his partner, Kate Crandall, arrive at the murder scene of "Psychic to the Stars" Sylvie Black to find a media frenzy already in progress. Two more murders are discovered shortly after the psychic’s murder. The three victims have one thing in common; they are all linked to the movie-making industry.

Death by Misfortune is a well written superb cop thriller that weaves a tale of Hollywood’s dirty little secrets. The plot is filled with drama, a dash of humor as well as sensual intimate scenes. Most of the characters have something to hide, including Bill Turner who is in love with a man named Christopher. The clandestine romance takes a toll on Bill and Christopher, forcing an admission of love, as well as causing Bill to finally step out of the closet. Since the prime suspect becomes victim number two, Bill turns his focus towards assistant director Becket Russell. However, Becket is being shielded by his personal assistant, Jeremy Reilly. Jeremy is secretly in love with Becket, in addition to being determined to do everything in his power to gain Becket’s approval. The story illustrates the vast numbers of personnel required to produce a movie, plus the particulars of a murder investigation.

A.M. Riley has created an outstanding saga that is extremely enjoyable. The characters in Death by Misfortune also appear in A.M. Riley's Amor en Retrogrado.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wrestling With Love


Title: Wrestling With Love
Author: D.H. Starr
Publisher: Ai Press
Publisher URL: http://ai-press.net/
ISBN: 978-0-9833747-0-1
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Derek and Scott are finally on their way to college where they plan to move their relationship to the next step. When Scott continues to shy away from making love, Derek begins to wonder just what kind of relationship they really have, if any. As both young men struggle with the added responsibility of college life, will their relationship get left by the wayside? Or can they survive just one more obstacle in their way?

Wrestling with Love is Mr. Starr’s follow up story to Wrestling with Desire. This ongoing story picks up shortly after the two young men graduated from high school. For this reason, it is important that you read the first book before starting this one. You may also wish to return to this review at a later date to keep from seeing any possible spoilers.

Derek and Scott continued to hold my interest just as strongly in this second book as they did in the first. For me, they are the type of characters that you just can’t help wanting everything to turn out okay. In no way are they perfect. In fact, no matter how hard he tries, Scott still struggles with being openly gay. His fears, at times, lead to major problems for the two, especially when he sends mixed signals to Derek. Derek, on the other hand, is so ready to jump into the openly gay experience that he is, at times, naive. This leads to even more problems for the two and I could not help wondering if these two were once again coming to an end.

Now that they are in college, the author has moved them into a more mature relationship. The passion they share, whether it is just kissing or all out sex, is intense, as is their fighting. Luckily for them, they have strong family figures and friends to turn to for help. This is just one of the things that I loved about Wrestling with Love. The author does such a wonderful job bringing the characters and their situations to life that, as readers, it is easy to see that these two belong together. However, like any realistic relationship, their personalities to do not always mesh and Mr. Starr makes these times just as believable for the reader.

I wish that I could have given Wrestling with Love the Golden Blush award because the story itself was that good; however, there were some typos and name confusion issues that made that impossible. Never the less, this is still an outstanding book and I am eagerly awaiting the third installment so that I can see just how Mr. Starr plans to wrap up Derek’s and Scott’s story.

Leap of Faith


Title: Leap of Faith
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-055-8
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-sifter, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Braxton has had to make some changes, since kicking out his ex. Now, with a new place and a new graphic novel in the works, everything should be going well. Unfortunately for Braxton, he’s having a little trouble with the book and his ex, Mason, is trying to work his way back into Braxton’s life. Luckily, for Braxton, he’s also just met Xander, who doesn’t plan on letting anyone take his mate away.

Leap of Faith is the first book in the new series Moonlight Breed by Gabrielle Evans. I have to hand it to the author for coming up with an unusual twist to a classic story line. The shifters that make up the 'pack’ in this story are not your normal lot. Each of the men is cursed and for that reason, have come together to form their own family of sorts. Xander is the pack’s unofficial Alpha, and as befitting that position, is big, tough and just a little bossy, the fact that he is a firefighter make him Braxton’s dream man.

The chemistry between them is hot and they heat up this story on more than one occasion. The instant attraction they feel for each other does not always play in their favor, as soon as conflict rears its ugly head. The personal problems the men encounter are realistic when you think about the fact that these are basically two strangers who have not yet gotten the chance to learn about each other. If the interaction between these two does not keep you glued to the story, the mystery surrounding Mason will. The many twists and turns concerning Mason and his reasons for getting back in touch with Braxton had me shocked on more than one occasion.

Not only do Xander’s fellow pack members make up the cast of secondary characters, but so does Braxton’s best friend, Keeton. The quirky interaction between all the characters will no doubt leave you laughing. This is one series that I am glad to have the chance to read and can’t wait for the next book to arrive.

Moonlight Temptation


Title: Moonlight Temptation
Author: Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419932885
Genre: {M/F/M} Ménage, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Dane changed right in front of Evie and thinks he scared her. He asks his friend to come and talk with Evie to help her through some addiction issues.

Moonlight Temptation picks up where Edge of Moonlight left off. Evie is now training to control her powers and realizes that she has a lot of control when she gets together with Dane and Ryan. The relationship between the three is not without problems, as Dane’s mother wants him to mate with someone she chooses. Dane tries to ignore his feelings for Evie and Ryan shows Dane that they are not going to go away and that he is, in fact, hurting Evie. Dane finally acts on them.

Having to overcome addictions and face a new reality would make anyone timid. I liked the way the author slowly allowed Evie to grasp her worth in her own eyes. I know a lot of people who struggle with this concept almost daily and Evie’s reactions are very real. The fourth book of the Lucani Lovers series is very intense, emotionally, and Ms. Julian has a surprising twist at the end. Some of the secondary characters add so much to the story and in one case, could be a secondary story line.

You will need to read Edge of Moonlight before reading Moonlight Temptation to get Evie’s full story. I, for one, am waiting for the next book to see where she takes this particular story line.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bermuda Heat


Title: Bermuda Heat
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-161-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Detective David Laine’s mother told him his father died in Vietnam before he was born and he had no reason to doubt her. His life changed with the arrival of a single letter, proving everything he’d been told was a lie. In fact, his father, Joel Cameron, met his mother during the turbulent sixties, when he’d come to America from Bermuda to attend school. His parents became a couple during the only rebellious period in his mother’s life and after his birth, she fled back to the pampered world in which she’d grown up, leaving the father of her child behind. Now his mother’s lies are exposed and David and his husband, Chris, must travel to Bermuda to meet the family David never knew he had, and to discover the truth of what happened so many years before.

Bermuda Heat is the latest release in P.A. Brown’s ongoing L.A. Series. The story begins on the streets of LA, with David and his partner in pursuit of a criminal. It’s a swift moving scene, leading the reader to believe the story will revolve around a police investigation, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The first shocking twist happens quickly with the arrival of ‘The Letter’ which takes David back to his childhood home and a well constructed confrontational scene with his family, who’s lied to him for years.

The descriptions of Bermuda are richly detailed, making the locale and its people come alive. The next twists all occur after David and Chris are introduced to David’s father, Joel. The revelations of how he met and got in involved with David’s snobby mother are unexpected. Then there’s David’s newly acquired half-siblings…his young sister, Imani (her character’s the most developed) is more accepting of his relationship with Chris, while the two brothers are filled with anger and prejudice. These two attributes are unfortunately the ones most found in the population in general, and especially the police, later on in the story.

Don’t let the discovery theme fool you. There’s still plenty of action going on after David and Chris get to Bermuda and a villain strikes at someone close to David, getting him into trouble with the police. This portion of the story leans heavily on police corruption and dealing with the legal system in a foreign country…a frightening circumstance vividly described. Through all this Chris and David’s relationship stands strong and while there isn’t much graphic sex in this book, there’s more than enough love and tenderness to go around. I won’t go into details about the villain, except to say I wasn’t surprised at his identity.

Solstice Heat


Title: Solstice Heat
Author: Leila Brown
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-909-6
Genre: {M/F} BBW, Multicultural, Shape-shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Giovanni Odell isn’t about to let her little sister fall victim to some pervert on the computer. After reading some of the e-mails her sister received from this stranger, Gio decides to issue him a warning in person. Things go from bad to strange the moment she arrives at his remote cabin. One minute Gio is arguing with a man in a wheelchair and the next, she’s being pinned down by a wolf.

After months of talking online, Jason has a chance to have a woman look at him again with something other than pity. The women in the pack no longer did that. Just because he couldn’t walk any more didn’t mean he’d given up the hopes of finding a mate. Jason’s anger takes over and now if Gio can’t come to terms with their unexpected situation, her life could be at risk.

An accidental bite complicates things for Gio and Jason. She is forced to trust a man she doesn’t know and he is forced to outwit the new Alpha of the pack, who’s looking for any reason to get rid of Jason, once and for all. Throw in the fact that Gio is going into heat and fighting it every step of the way.

Solstice Heat isn’t your typical shifter romance and Jason isn’t your typical guy. Once, he was Alpha but an accident made him give that all up. One common theme that Jason and Gio share is that they both try fighting the inevitable. Sometimes in life you get what you need, not what you want. I was glad to see the couple’s need turn into want. The scenes where Jason shifted and was forced into immediate physical action made me happy and sad at once. In the end, I was glad that he had more fight left in him than I thought. And with a strong willed woman like Gio around, Jason would certainly need that. Gio’s reaction to the entire situation was very realistic and I enjoyed the fact that she wasn’t a cowering wallflower. This story has plenty of action, and not only in the bedroom, which will keep readers engrossed from beginning to end.

Make Me, Sir




Title: Make Me, Sir
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-942-3
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Suspense
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Gabrielle’s (Gabi) friend is kidnapped by human traffickers so Gabi volunteers to be used as a decoy by the FBI. Gabi is one of four women undercover at various BDSM clubs throughout the Tampa area. She is assigned as a trainee to Master Marcus at Shadowlands, though Marcus is upset because he has no say about it and is unaware of Gabi’s exact status.

I have to say that Make Me, Sir is, by far, the best of the Masters of the Shadowlands series and that is saying something, as I have really enjoyed reading the series. Not only has Ms. Sinclair combined a very good suspense thriller with an interesting story about two people wrestling with their feelings, she keeps you on an emotional rollercoaster as you read about Gabi and Marcus. There are also secondary stories about some of the previous characters that will not detract if you haven’t read any before this.

The sparks fly between Marcus and Gabi and even though Gabi is a natural submissive, she constantly acts out, due to her undercover role. Marcus had a bad experience with a bratty sub in the past and is beside himself when he realizes he is attracted to Gabi. Gabi is also very insecure about her sexuality, though she is a wonderful victim’s advocate for the FBI and not an agent, which causes no small amount of problems for her backup.

As this story progresses, you will not want to put this one down. I am one of those that will get so engrossed in some stories that as soon as I finish it, I want to immediately go back and read parts of it again right away. This was one of those stories. I am also waiting impatiently for stories about Masters Roaul and Sam as they played a small, very important part toward the end. Ms. Sinclair again gets kudos about how she weaves the safety rules for submissives throughout the story. Make Me, Sir is one for the bookshelves.

Bodies of Work


Title: Bodies of Work
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-811-2
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

George Martin is trying to recover from a bad relationship with a live-in boyfriend. Mike Foster, George’s best friend since childhood, moves in to help George recuperate and move on with his life. The problem is Mike is secretly in love with George. When Mike steps in front of a bullet meant for George, suddenly George recognizes he is truly in love with Mike.

Bodies of Work is a well-written plot illustrating how crime-solving affects the daily routine of George and Mike, as well as the investigative process employed to apprehend murder suspects. The setting is Jacksonville, Florida in an area with a large gay population. The characters are believable. George is the only openly gay, as well as, youngest lieutenant ever to be in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office. Mike owns a computer network service. George and Mike are very much alike in physical size, in addition to other traits. Both men have caring personalities, as well as, high intelligence levels which accounts for the individual success exhibited in their chosen professions.

Although George and Mike live together, they did not share a bedroom before Mike was shot. The only display of intimacy between them was an act they put on for the benefit of a stalker obsessed with George. Etienne has created an intriguing murder mystery that I enjoyed a great deal.

The Haunting of St. Xavier


Title: The Haunting of St. Xavier
Author: Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-480-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Horror
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jason Bentley’s looking for the location for his newest resort—the perfect place to build the world’s best gay fantasy playground. When he comes across the awe-inspiring structure and grounds of St. Xavier’s Monastery, which has been empty for over fifty years, Jason knows the property is just what he needs. As soon as the papers are signed, construction is started to bring the wonderful old structure back to its former glory, but strange events and noises begin to occur almost immediately. Despite knowing the history of the building, Jason doesn’t believe in spirits but it only takes one sighting of a blood covered nun to change his mind. Unsure of what to do, Jason turns to the local Catholic Church for help and advice.

Deacon Ryan Christopher has struggled with his desire for male companionship for years and needs to make a decision on whether he can commit his life to the Church. Unlike Bishop Adler, his mentor, Ryan believes in spirits and when Jason comes looking for answers, agrees to help investigate what’s happening inside the monastery. The ghosts have waited decades to exact their revenge and if Jason and Ryan can’t figure out what happened and how to help them pass over, people could die and Jason could be faced with financial ruin.

I admit that usually I don’t read books that falls into the horror genre, but on discovering Carol Lynne and T.A. Chase had teamed up for The Haunting of St. Xavier, I decided to give it a chance and I’m glad I did. I enjoy these authors separately and together they make a winning combination, nicely meshing their writing skills and creative flair. They’ve put together a well plotted and written book, filled with great characters, a vividly described locale and a great background event that pulls the reader into the story and keeps their interest from beginning to end.

The romance between Ryan and Jason is nicely integrated within the horror aspects of the story, neither one overshadowing the other, but growing and changing as what happened fifty years ago comes to light. There are many twists and turns, bringing unexpected individuals into the forefront as this story races to the end, so take my advice and give this horror story a try.

Mi Amor


Title: Mi Amor
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-961-4
Genre: {M/M} Multicultural
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Party Planner Adam Beller is doing some last minute shopping for a party display when he is observed by building contractor Javier Marisco. After their first meeting, it does not take long for Adam and Javier’s sexual escapades to bloom into love.

Mi Amor is a fantastic romance interwoven with humor and a little cultural drama, along with criminal activities. The setting is South Beach, Florida where a large part of the community is gay. The characters are believable. Adam is an openly gay man from the East Coast, who chose not to follow in his father’s business footsteps. He has a free spirit personality, plus he is not looking for a relationship until he meets Javier. Adam is generally intelligent; however, he seems to be naïve when it comes to making good business judgments. It is this poor business standard that generates the attention of the FBI.

Javier is Cuban and because of cultural traditions, in addition to his fear of losing his business clients, Javier is an in-the-closet gay. He is an exceptionally passionate man. Secretly dating Adam, Javier soon realizes that their passions are well matched. Both men try to resist the budding love between them without success. The secondary characters insert a touch of additional spice to the story. Neil Plakcy has created a marvelous saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Impressions


Title: Impressions
Author: Jocelyn Michel
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-576-1
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Chantel Mathis is more than just a decorator, disgusted by the retro tacky building she’d been hired to update. Chantel is also the trained killer, Karma, assigned to wipe out a cunning and virile werewolf. She knows her assignment will be challenging, but Chantel wasn’t expecting the attraction she felt toward her target.

Vampires know him as Slayer but to the rest of the world, Ren Aubrey is a new CEO who stepped in after his father’s death. The werewolf bachelor figures out Chantel’s true intentions immediately and decides to play along. Things heat up between them, regardless of the new dangers their liaison will cause. Will their mutual attraction be the end or the beginning?

First Impressions are often wrong, but I have to say that Jocelyn Michel did everything right in this story, the first of the Assassins in Lace series. No time was wasted before Ren and Chantel got right down to the business of heating up the pages. There was nothing shy about either of these two characters, and that’s a good thing. I’m already a sucker for a couple who has all odds against them, but the addition of the couple being natural enemies, a vampire and a werewolf, really took me there. Chantel and Ren belong together, so of course I was saddened to see their story end so quickly. Their romance is too out of the ordinary to conclude in the blink of an eye. The shock of discovering what Ren’s company did was a pleasant twist as well. I’m a fan of this series and you will be too, after this story.

All of the Voices


Title: All of the Voices
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-463-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Life’s been rough for Deputy Matt Nixon the last few months. He’s recovered from being stabbed while on duty, his almost lover fled leaving him alone and unhappy and to top it off, he has a ghost…the dead lover of his boss. His only real friend is a lonely, elderly woman who calls in false police reports and who meets all the responding officers, except for him, dressed in a nightie.

When Mary dies of a heart attack, Matt is devastated. Then he’s angry at the lawyer nephew, Carlin Douglas, who never bothered to visit, and he’s determined to give the man a piece of his mind when he finally comes to McKinton for the funeral. What Matt doesn’t know is that Carlin loved his aunt but that family obligations kept him away.

The two men clash on sight, but with an attraction simmering in the background, Matt and Carlin don’t stand a chance of staying mad, especially with the lingering spirits of McKinton pushing them into each others arms.

All of the Voices is book three in the Southern Spirits series and it takes up a few months after the last release left off, and due to the continuing nature of the storyline, I recommend the books be read in order. I love the premise—that in this little town the spirits of some of the dearly departed linger, helping loved ones that have been left behind move forward with their lives.

The story starts off quickly and a bit unusually with the death of Matt’s friend, Mary, and Ms. Bradford does a very nice job expressing his devastation at her unexpected passing. The depth of Matt’s emotions - his irritation, loneliness and anger in the days immediately after - is realistically integrated into the story. Then Mary’s nephew, Carlin, arrives and initially the two men don’t get along well at all (big understatement). Here she quickly changes directions, turning their mutual irritation into believable attraction, desire and passion.

It was great seeing more of the characters from the two previous releases, men that have become friends with Matt, as well as a few little ghostly glimpses of Mary and Connor. Overall there’s a lot of emotional upheaval, vastly differing cities and lifestyles and family responsibilities that Matt and Carlin have to deal with. Any of these could have destroyed their growing relationship, but with a little understanding, reality and creativity, Ms. Bradford pushes, prods and pulls them ever forward into the happily-ever-after they want and deserve.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hot Lava


Title: Hot Lava
Author: Rob Rosen
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-159-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Chase decided to put his severance package to good use by taking a trip to Hawaii. Chase has a fear of flying so he invites his best friend Brandon along, for psychological support. Also heading for Oahu is Will Stevenson, a FBI agent delivering a prisoner to stand trial. Hours after the plane lands, Chase, Brandon and Will are embroiled in a complicated undercover investigation of multiple murders and mayhem.

Hot Lava is a well-written fast moving hilarious crime-solving parody with a few superbly expressive sex scenes. The characters are true to life with fantastic interaction. The mystery begins with an escaped convict’s dead body washing up on shore. Chase and Brandon have very similar personalities; both are a little slutty, although Chase exhibits this tendency more so than Brandon. Chase and Brandon are smart, excellent at problem-solving, in addition to being adventurous. Both men are eager for a chance to play amateur sleuths. Chase grudgingly agreed to going undercover as their drag alter-egos, Liza and Judy. Brandon, as Liza, always ends up being the pretty one. Brandon’s drag DNA ensures that he looks good in a dress, much to Chase’s consternation.

The secondary characters enhance the plot with pandemonium. Following the trail of bodies, Chase and Brandon along with their friends are able to gather the particulars of the deadly scheme in progress, as well as the names of the guilty participants. Rob Rosen has created a spectacular saga that I tremulously enjoyed.

Colters’ Daughter


Title: Colters’ Daughter Author: Maya Banks Publisher: Samhain Publishing Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/ ISBN: 978-1-60928-025-3 Genre: {M/F} BDSM Rating: 4.5 Nymphs Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph Callie met Max while she was in Europe and later thinks he abandoned her. Max shows up in her brother’s bar while she is working and she promptly slugs him. Colters’ Daughter is about a very independent, strong woman who finds the perfect man. The ups and downs that Callie goes through are very realistic. Her hurt when she thinks Max has betrayed her, not once but twice, had me crying. I have watched friends go through these types of experiences and it can be devastating. Callie is very much a submissive to Max and though she knows he won’t hurt her physically, Max has betrayed her trust. The way Max goes about getting her back in both situations indicates how much he really loves her and he knows he messed up big time. I loved how he got her back the second time. For me, the biggest issue was that I guessed pretty much what happens when Max’s secret is revealed. That being said, I enjoyed the third book of the Colters’ Legacy series. Even though this book can be read alone, I recommend you read the entire series in order. It will explain so much about what Callie is looking for and that her family is basically her refuge. Keep ice on hand as you read Colters’ Daughter as Max and Callie burn up the pages.

The Lost Locket


Title: The Lost Locket
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-940-9
Genre: {M/M/F} Paranormal Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Due to funding cuts and in trying to clean up its reputation, the Defense Department axed the Psychic Warfare Program, forcing its participants to transfer into other defense agencies or go it alone as civilians. Without the constant physical, mental and psychic training it means life isn’t easy and many lose control of their abilities. One group comes up with a way to prevent this—they open Power Up gym. The constant physical training by day, psychic training by night, and investigative work on the side gives them the outlet they need to stay in control.

On their first assignment, Keegan, a telekinetic and James, a manipulator of fire, sets out to find a lost locket. The men have been friends and partners for years and are over-qualified for a simple retrieval, except the locket is far from a piece of jewelry—men are willing to kill to possess it. Keegan and James also have trouble keeping their eyes off Rory, the woman in possession of the stolen locket, and they’re dealing with their desire for each other that’s spiraling out of control. Keegan and James want Rory to be their third, making for a fun-filled and dangerous cross-country ride.

The Lost Locket is the first book in Marie Harte’s new series, Power Up! Ms. Harte did a nice job giving an overall view of the characters, their personal psychic abilities and just enough background of their defunded program to use as set up for this new series. Keegan and James played secondary roles in Gunnar’s Game, the last release in the Dawn Endeavor series, so I’m curious what kind of tie-in, if any, there will be here.

Both Keegan and James are unique and interesting men—they’re great friends and partners, and the sexual tension simmering between them is nearly blistering at times. Ms. Harte does a great job with James and his slow seduction of the more reserved Keegan, but once the floodgates are opened—watch out. Keegan is more than willing to take control.

Watching the interplay between Keegan, James and Rory was great fun. It’s once Rory enters the picture that suspicion, anger, danger and betrayal become part of the storyline, making for a fast paced, action packed return trip across the country. When these three get together, the only word to adequately describe it is hot! There’s plenty of good background information on Rory, her gift and the history of the lost locket leading to an unexpected personal tie-in once they get her back to Power Up. I can’t wait to see what happens in Retrocog, the next release, coming in May.

Wedded Bliss


Title: Wedded Bliss
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-785-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Business has been slow for casting director Jack Callahan. His bank account is in need of a large deposit. Seeing an ad for a marriage of convenience offering a small fortune, Jack considers this is a perfect solution. Upon first meeting Australian novelist Bruce Logan, Jack is convinced it is love at first sight.

Wedded Bliss is a modern day twist on an old world tradition. The well written plot is set in Hollywood and shares some insider “behind the scenes” insight. The characters are believable. Jack is an honest, hard working man who enjoys his work. He has an especially considerate personality, even at the risk of his own heartbreak. Jack is in love with Bruce, yet he allows Bruce the space to come to terms with their marriage.

Bruce is caught up in the false promise of fame. It is not until Jack starts to pull away that Bruce becomes aware of his love for Jack. Jack and Bruce have similar prior relationship history in common. Furthermore, Jack and Bruce are mutually coordinated in bed activities, finding enjoyment in each other’s arms. What started out as a business transaction promptly grows into a marriage of pleasure. A. J. Llewellyn’s Wedded Bliss is an impressive, as well as, an exceptionally enjoyable saga.

Jaded Promises


Title: Jaded Promises
Author: Amy J. Romine
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-789-8
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Detective Eric Stiles can’t believe that he is about to lose the one woman who has stolen his heart and regardless of what he does, it feels as she’s slipping away from him. He knows that he has to find the people who kidnapped Rebecca quickly, because she could be very close to death in the hands of the villains.

Rebecca Gailen is a strong willed person and carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has a younger sister, Lucy, to care for and they are at odds from time to time. Lucy showed a different side of herself to others than she did to her big sister and imagine Rebecca’s surprise to learn a few secrets about herself and her little sister. Rebecca becomes explosive with anger later, when dealing with her feelings of denial about how she could have done things better.

Jaded Promises is the third book in the Trust Me series and is just as captivating as the first two books. This story continues immediately from the last story with Rebecca and Lucy being held against their will and certain truths come to light for some of the main characters involved. At one time or another I wanted to shake Rebecca for her trying to handle everything thrown at her.

Eric is still the strong impressive man, who never realized how much he needed Rebecca and she is his rock. Rebecca should have trusted Eric more, but since she had to stand on her own so long, it’s hard to let someone else help.

Ms. Romaine has written another spell binding, well plotted story of murder, deceit, and distrust. I always love a good suspense/paranormal story, and this one had me on the edge wondering how it would end.