Friday, March 11, 2011

Trusted Bond


Title: Trusted Bond
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-668-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jin Rayne should be sitting on top of the world. His mate, Logan Church, is willing to do anything to make him happy. The fact that Logan was very straight prior to claiming him stirs fears in Jin and leaves him feeling insecure and doubtful about their future. Logan has no doubt of Jin’s place in his life or the path their lives will travel. He wants to be Jin’s everything and doesn’t feel that’s too much to hope for but Jin’s reaction leaves him to believe it’s a request of epic proportions.

Will Jin learn to trust the bond between them? Will Logan finally gain the place in Jin’s life and heart that is rightfully his?

Mary Calmes has brought us yet another brilliantly written story about Jin and Logan in her latest release, Trusted Bond. Jin has grown but still has a great deal to learn about his mate, his station in the tribe and himself. After listening to Logan, it was clear that he not only knew his mate and understood his needs, but that there was no one more important to him.

Their chemistry sizzles even more in the Trusted Bond. Events allowed the couple to see their relationship as a gift that should be appreciated and cherished. Ms. Calmes adds a great deal of suspense, as well as a host of surprises that left me anxious for future releases. There are definitely others that I want to see find that perfect mate and if their road to love is anything like Jin and Logan’s, we will have to hold on to our seats.

Trusted Bond is a perfect balance of drama, suspense, action and tantalizing erotic scenes. Those who enjoyed Change of Heart won’t want to miss Trusted Bond.

Entertaining The Delaneys


Title: Entertaining The Delaneys
Author: Anne Brooke
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-067-2
Genre: {M/M/M} Romantic Comedy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Liam cannot forget the love-fest night he recently spent with the Delaney twins, Mark and Johnny. Shortly after arriving home from work, Liam gets a phone call from Mark telling Liam that they want to see him again. Once at the Delaney estate, a business associate of the Delaneys, Mr. Buchanan, has agreed to a business arrangement with the twins; part of that exchange includes sexual dates with Liam.

Entertaining The Delaneys is the sequel to The Delaneys And Me. This is a well written humorous small morsel of a story with convincing characters and scorching sex. Liam is an average young man who has become obsessed with being the focus of Mark and Johnny’s sexual activities. Liam did not mind playing the twins’ boy toy with Mr. Buchanan. However, Liam clearly expressed his desires to be the twins’ exclusive intimate partner.

Mark has a tough guy façade, yet has a soft spot for Liam. Johnny is the more considerate twin. Mark and Johnny are both very sensual lovers to Liam. Anne Brooke has created an extremely arousing as well as especially enjoyable snippet. I adore the main characters and wish for a much longer version of them together.

Daryk Craving


Title: Daryk Craving
Author: Denise A. Agnew
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419932670
Genre: {M/F}, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Aknada is a rare female Daryk One but has always felt that people did not accept her. After being captured and raped, she wants nothing to do with men, even Marc. Marc has always loved Aknada but kept quiet about it until now.

The third installment of the Daryk World series is about a woman overcoming a horrendous event in her life. Daryk Craving walks you through the steps Marc and Aknada go through to find their way to trusting each other again. The author pulls you into the story through the emotions both go through. Marc is one of those rare men every woman wants in their life when she needs support. Aknada’s feelings are very real as she struggles to overcome her fears and insecurities.

Daryk Craving is different from the previous books in the series because it is so focused on Aknada and Marc as individuals, without the pull of the suspense in the other books. One word of warning, Aknada’s rape is described so be aware while you read. There was also one place where Aknada and Xandra were identified as each other, which jarred the story a little. I had to read those two paragraphs again to make sure I had not missed something. Please read the other books first so that you get the full effect of this story. I am looking forward to reading more about the Daryk Ones.

Nathaniel


Title: Nathaniel
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-724-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Aaron King is at his wit’s end, trying to unravel the bonds that son Samuel has tied himself up in since the tragedy that forced the pair to leave their strict Mennonite community. Luckily, he’s been able to find a place for them both at the Rocking M ranch, serving food to the cowboys and tending to the garden. It would be a lonely existence, if it wasn’t for the glimpses of Happy Nathaniel dancing in the dust and living up to his name every day. Nathaniel can see the sadness in the father’s eyes and instinctively wants to do whatever it takes to soothe the man’s pain. As Nate and Aaron work hard to free young Samuel from the ties that bind, the men start to realize that they can help each other, in more ways than one.

Nathaniel, a spin off from the author’s titles Luke and Sylvan, focuses on Happy Nathaniel’s evolving relationship with ranch cook Aaron and his son Samuel. The characters in this story are really strong. I felt the anguish in poor Aaron’s increasingly desperate attempts to reach out to his son, and the fact that he would deny his own wants and needs to insure his son’s happiness really tugged at the heartstrings. Nathaniel was the perfect gentleman who was patient and understanding of the father’s situation, but still passionate and able to make Aaron feel wanted, which were all very endearing traits.

However, I couldn’t help but get mixed messages about the genre of the book. The writing seemed a little confused, as if this was meant to be a historical piece. Rather than coming across as one Mennonite character having difficulty adjusting to life away from his community, the style of writing created a sense of all the characters living in the past. Most of the time, I forgot that this was contemporary, which made the few occurrences of modern sayings seem out of place and awkward. That being said, the sweetness of the story was more than enough to keep my interest.

A Prideful Mate


Title: A Prideful Mate
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-e-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-485-9
Genre: {M/M} Cat shifters, Mystery
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lion shifter Kevin had long suppressed the craving for the touch of another man. He always knew it was the hard form of a man he preferred. Now that he had two cubs of his own, it was time to find his mate. At the prodding of his cub’s mother, Kevin halfhearted signed up for the online dating service Werekin Wanted and found “the one”. Payce, a jaguar shifter living in Seattle is the man of Kevin’s dreams.

A Prideful Mate is the second book in the Supernatural Mate series. The well written plot is filled with humorous dialog, a touch of intimacy, in addition to an attempted murder mystery. The Cascade Mountains is home to the lion pride. The characters are engaging with fantastic interaction. Kevin recognized Payce as his mate the moment he saw Payce’s photo. Kevin is easy going until his mate is threatened; then Kevin is all action.

Payce is a hard working straightforward man who never considered he had enemies until he was nearly killed by an unknown assailant. Like any new relationships, Kevin and Payce must become familiarized with having a mate. Both men exhibit momentary doubts, but are able to swiftly smooth away the few emotional creases they each encounter.

Amber Kell has produced a wonderfully enchanting saga that I enjoyed immensely. I look forward to the next installment in this series.

Taming A Highland Devil


Title: Taming A Highland Devil
Author: Kimberly Killion
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419932687
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Effie Mackay knew they would make a perfect match, the strikingly handsome but scarred laird and her younger sister Vanna. The union of their two clans would bring power and protection to her family. Despite her happiness for her sister, Effie couldn’t help the feelings of longing that came over her each time she thought of Magnus. Tragic events from her past and age have suppressed any hopes Effie had of finding a man for herself. Yet oddly enough, Magnus seemed to be interested in Effie. A man with a reputation like his couldn’t possibly favor Effie over Vanna. Could he?

Six months ago, Laird Magnus Sutherland agreed to a marriage. As much as he loves women, he has no expectations of a woman touching his heart. All he expected from his wife was the ability to warm his bed to help him forget the horror of war and guilt that plagued him and to produce an heir for his clan. When Magnus discovers there are two available women to choose from in the MacKay clan, he reconsiders his plans. Something about Effie calls out to him. She could be the woman who could accept him as he is, and change his life for the better.

Sparks fly whenever Magnus and Effie are together, even though she does her best to douse her feelings. Magnus decides to take Effie as his wife and eventually convinces her that life with him will be good. Unexpected issues with Effie’s sister and brother force the couple to break up and all happiness is lost for Magnus and Effie. After a bit of investigating, Effie digs up the truth and she and Magnus are able to be together.

Magnus and Effie go together like a band-aid and a cut. Each of them has pain that they deal with daily. I was amazed at Effie’s willpower to go on after discovering all that she had lost. I adored her selflessness and her ability to always do or say the right thing at the right time. It seems that she was the first woman to make Magnus realize that women actually had a brain. But, I can’t hold that against Magnus because he is a victim of his circumstances and uses sex as a distraction. Magnus wanted more than just a sexual acrobat in a wife, and I was so glad he found it in Effie and not Vanna. That sister of hers is definitely a piece of work, and I thank Kimberly Killion for giving me a twist on this character that caught me by surprise. Taming A Highland Devil is a touching historical romance filled with heat and healing and certainly a story that must be read.

Roselynde


Title: Roselynde
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419931536
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Alinor Devaux is an independent orphan, who is beautiful and wealthy. She is also very capable of managing all of her estates and she keeps her vassals in line because of their love for her. When King Henry dies, the next in line for the throne is Richard Coeur de Lion and Alinor becomes his ward. Along comes Sir Simon, who has been loyal to the old Queen for years and because of it, he is given the responsibility of overseeing Alinor’s safety and her lands for the king.

Sir Simon is an older knight, having served the Queen for years. He has been single for most of his life, but since meeting the feisty, stubborn Alinor, he desires her. He knew that it isn’t possible for him to have her, being a knight instead of a lord. But Simon would do whatever he needs to have Alinor and that includes being the king’s right hand man during the Crusade.

Roselynde is the first in The Roselynde Chronicles and it’s quite a beginning for Simon and Alinor, with their travels during the king’s obsession of taking back foreign lands. While I was reading this story, I kept thinking of how much I appreciated not living in England and having to answer to a King or Queen. There is so much deceit among the barons during King Henry’s reign, and then you have a dispute between the Queen and King.

King Richard seemed a little flighty to me, and his explosive temper tantrums and bad habits, were not what I expected of such an important, powerful man. His newly crowned Queen proved to be flighty as well, and I wanted to either smack or shake her until she made some sense, with all of her crying and cowering from the king.

Sir Simon and Alinor showed me that love can exist in dire situations and survive any circumstances that the two of them had to face. At times I wanted to shake both Simon and Alinor for doubting each other, rather than listening to their hearts. They proved their love to be stronger and lasting throughout the story.

Roselynde by Ms. Gellis is a little long, but well worth reading because this book is preparation for the next one and it should be an exciting one, as well. She really did a great job with the plotting, disbelief of King Richard to hear the truth of his people and in-depth details of other countries where the characters traveled.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dead Sexy


Title: Dead Sexy
Author: Paige Tyler
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: https://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419929823
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Drake Parrish thought he had it all – a high powered job on Wall Street, countless beautiful women falling at his feet and enough money to buy himself out of any situation – or so he thought. When Drake’s carelessness goes too far, there isn’t enough money in the world to fix a broken heart or dissuade an evil voodoo priestess from cursing his very existence.

Since the day he was doomed to become a part time zombie eight years ago, Drake has become a recluse. It’s a little difficult to hold down a job or be a hit with the ladies when your flesh could start to rot at any moment. The one thing he has left is time; to think about the pain he has caused and the people he’s stepped on in his life. He never thought he would get a second chance at life but when he meets romance author Simone Kent, he starts to feel something that the priestess cannot overlook…hope. As he gets to know Simone online, Drake soon starts to realize there could be something amazing between him and the beautiful writer. His skin may return to normal after an attack of the zombie curse, but can Drake risk his heart, or the priestess’ wrath, for the sake of feeling human again?

I must admit to feeling more than a little trepidation before starting Dead Sexy. I was morbidly intrigued by the unusual mixture of erotic romance and the undead and wondered where it could possibly lead. First, we have Drake, who is not particularly likable to begin with but who redeems himself through a forced journey of discovery, thanks to turning into the walking dead when he least expects it. Then there is the very affable Simone, who won me over with her down-to-earth attitude, despite being a little too pre-occupied with appearances for my liking. I greatly enjoyed the story within a story idea; Simone’s trouble with writer’s block and the pressures of publishers brought out my more compassionate side.

The way the couple’s relationship develops struck a chord with me as sometimes you don’t need long to realize you want a person in your life for good. The alienation Drake feels and the compassion Simone has for him is very realistic, despite the paranormal reasons and the passion between them is amazing. Reading this book definitely required letting go of conventional thought at times and after finishing it, I’m still not sure how the author did it, but the contradicting genres ended up working very well indeed and I just could not put Dead Sexy down.

A Caleb Footlong


Title: A Caleb Footlong
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Publisher URL: http://sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-262-3
Genre: {M/M/M} Vampires
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Warrior Caleb arrives in Ireland, bearing Marius’ gifts to the O'Hagan family, as well as to help search for the kidnapped vampires. Upon his arrival, Caleb is assaulted by the sweet smell of his mates, identical twins Liam and Lorcan O'Hagan. This is just the beginning of the journey for Caleb, as revelations of his heritage are exposed.

A Caleb Footlong is the second book in The O'Hagan Way series. The plot is emotional, in addition to being heartwarming. The characters are interesting. Caleb grew up in an orphanage, abused by the human nuns because of his markings. No one knew Caleb’s last name or anything about where he came from. Rescued as a teenager, Caleb was given a home with the Marius family, who recognized that Caleb was a vampire warrior like them. Because of his mistreatment at the hands of the humans, Caleb suffers from panic attacks when stressed; otherwise Caleb has a good natured cocky attitude with his friends. Caleb’s only aspiration is to have a family of his own.

Liam is affectionately assertive while Lorcan is quietly compassionate. The twins want nothing more than to touch their mate, Caleb as well as strengthen their bond. Joyee Flynn’s A Caleb Footlong is a tender and enjoyable saga.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Deadly Séance


Title: The Deadly Séance
Author: Monette Michaels
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-812-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Abigail Gooden's Uncle Vidal plans on performing a séance so his fiancé, Ariana Huntingdon, can contact her deceased husband. The couple intends to seek the ghost’s blessing for their upcoming wedding and Ariana needs advice on how to handle a few problems with their three adult children. Before the séance can begin, Vidal is devastated when Ariana collapses in his arms and dies—and it’s not from natural causes.

The only thing that’s certain is that one of the five other people in the room is the killer. Is it one of the children about to have their funds cuts off, or possibly the long-suffering butler or secretary? It’s a difficult job to undertake and Abbie and Luc have barely started their investigation when there’s another murder. Between trying to figure out the killer’s identity and dealing with an old danger stalking Abbie, the couple has a lot on their plate. It will take intelligence, common sense, magic and some help from their friends and family to discover the killer’s identity and catch him before he can kill again.

The Deadly Séance by Monette Michaels is Case File #2 in A Gooden and Knight Mystery and it takes up a few months after the first book left off.

The story starts off with a bang – or rather I should say a sudden death with the murder of Ariana. It’s an unusual twist to have a death on the third page but it starts the book off on a fast pace that doesn’t stop until the end. It also reminds the reader immediately of the paranormal aspect of this story and the wonderful world building Ms. Michaels did with the creation of her plotline since the story centers around a séance filled with ‘real’ ghosts. Not to mention there’s a new part-fey female mixed in with some returning supporting characters—witches, warlocks, shifters, and a shaman—so there are plenty of great otherworldly personalities present to make any paranormal lover happy.

Luc and Abbie’s relationship is still new and they’re having trouble adjusting to being a couple but the author does a nice job expressing their frustration and uneasiness. Abbie is over-sensitive and Luc is an all protective Alpha male, making for a series of misunderstandings that could tank their new relationship before it gets started. Like the first release, there’s plenty of snappy dialogue and fiery confrontations between Abbie and Luc. The stalker aspect of the Madoc clan is handled nicely and while important to the overall continuing plotline doesn’t overpower the other parts of the story. I just wished I hadn’t figured out who the killer/villain was way before the end. Even so, it’s an entertaining story and well worth the read.

Revelations


Title: Revelations
Author: Brannan Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-602-7
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic, Werewolves
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Human Daniel Baker and his Alpha wolf mate, Mace, were out foraging for useful building parts when they were attacked by female soldiers from Daniel’s former home compound. Mace requests a meeting with the humans to discuss a possible treaty between the two groups. However, instead of meeting with Daniel’s former council, Mace is subjected to all kinds of mistreatment at the hands of a psychotic female Major.

Revelations is the second book in the Wolfman series. This is a stimulating, well-written, well-paced, humorous story with great character interaction, in addition to having sizzling love scenes. The wolfmen were surviving victims of a virus which, during the first stages, men lost who they were; nevertheless they’re searching for who they are. Some, like Mace, retained the civilized parts of their humanity, while others totally surrendered to the instincts of a beast. In this episode, Daniel is in full snark mode in an effort to protect his chosen mate.

Mace discovers a small piece of his former life and is introduced to Daniel’s mother, who has the take charge attitude of an Alpha. Because of his love for Daniel, Mace showed Dr. Baker the proper respect due her. Dr. Baker is also willing to listen to Mace because she accepts her son’s choice to be with Mace. The secondary characters provide the conflict by exhibiting realistic social attitudes of prejudice, jealousy, obsessed with killing anything or anyone without rationalization.

Brannan Black has created another laugh-out-loud captivating installment to this series, ending with a teaser of new excitements to come. I look forward to more of Daniel and Mace, who have fast become one of my favorite couples.

Hands Tied, a Hammer Story


Title: Hands Tied, a Hammer Story
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: none listed
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Despite having an agreed upon daily schedule, Jim gets so involved with a new deadline, shoved upon him by an obnoxious client, that he completely forgets. Hours later, Marcus finds him still working feverishly, but he’s so upset and angry that’s he’s ready for a meltdown. Marcus knows just what Jim needs to focus his energy on himself, his Master and keeping to his schedule.

Hands Tied by Sean Michael was originally published as part of Toy Box: Bondage Mitts . This little short about Jim and Marcus is barely over 3K, but in that short period of time, Mr. Michael gives the reader a good look into the loving relationship of this master/submissive pair. There isn’t really anything new going on, just a quick look into their daily lives as Marcus tries to help Jim deal with his needs. It does show that, even through the ups and downs of their partnership, their relationship is still rock solid.

Belonging


Title: Belonging
Author: Pat Cunningham
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-250-X
Genre: {M/M}, Vampire
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Raised by vampires, Jeremy knows more about the breed than anyone else, other than another vampire. When he loses his family, Jeremy goes into hiding, while at the same time hoping he will once again find a vampire he can belong to.

While I liked reading Belonging by Pat Cunningham, I did not always like the characters. Jeremy was easy to get to know. This is a young man that is still grieving from the loss of his family. The special sense of belonging he felt from his vampire family is one he hopes to find again, although he refuses to acknowledge this. The fact that he whores himself out in order to find that closeness he craves, even if it is only momentary, is understandable. The struggle he goes through to overcome his issues of loss, and self worth is realistic and one that many can attest to.

Some would think that, because of his occupation, Jeremy would be the one that was harder to warm up to; however for me, it was Wallace. Wallace is young for a vampire. He is also very cocky and refuses to believe that Jeremy’s vampire family actually loved him, rather than seeing him as just a source of blood. His attitude, for me, became a little annoying especially because he was trying to get Jeremy into bed at the same time. However, once Wallace’s secrets come out, his attitude becomes easier to understand.

There is no denying the attraction between Jeremy and Wallace. The author does a good job bringing the chemistry across and the two heat things up quite nicely. Their problems are different than those faced by a normal couple, yet the author has included some wonderful secondary characters that help the men out.

If you’re looking for a vampire story that is a little different from the usual then pick up Belonging today.

Remember Me?


Title: Remember Me?
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-065-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

At the end of summer camp, Chad didn’t keep in touch with Jeff as promised. Instead, he went off to college, leaving Jeff to finish high school alone, with a broken heart. They both suffered because Chad never could forgive himself for not standing up to his parents, and he left the guy he loved behind.

Years later while Chad’s on duty, Jeff comes into the ER severely beaten. Chad can’t believe the man he once loved is on the brink of death and it opens up his memory to what happened so long ago but this time when he makes a promise, he vows to keep it, no matter what.

Weeks later, when Jeff awakens and discovers his lost love has been posing as his boyfriend, he’s angry and confused. Yet Jeff has no one but Chad to help him during his recovery and after a decade, he still loves the man. The big question is whether he’s willing to risk getting his heart broken again.

Remember Me? is the newest release by multi-published author Lynn Lorenz and it’s full of broken promises that might lead to a second chance if Jeff will only survive. That’s what’s so unusual about this well plotted, touching novella. One of the two main characters begins the story on the brink of death and spends a big portion of the story unconscious. The twist is that we mostly learn of their past relationship through Chad’s memory of what happened during that summer together, not by conversation.

The regret Chad felt for what happened in the past is handled well, as is his determination of get Jeff back into his life. Initially on rousing, Jeff is understandably angry and Ms. Lorenz handles his emotions well. He’s recovering…he’s lost everything…almost died…and now suddenly his old love is back and in control of his world. It’s a lot to deal with and it’s all done realistically, with all the anger, confusion and angst a man who almost died deserves. But these two are meant to be together, and get their happily-ever-after in the end. Enjoy.

Crisis in Faith


Title: Crisis in Faith
Author: Jana Denardo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-776-4
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Paranormal; Holiday
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Being made a vampire is something Arrigo would never change. He’s had years to adjust and enjoys the benefits of immortality immensely. To see his newly turned lover Luc struggling to accept his own unending existence troubles Arrigo greatly. He knows Luc has strong feelings about the way he was forced into becoming a vampire but when a possible answer to Luc’s plight comes to light, Arrigo is surprised at the lengths Luc is willing to go to in order to escape his newfound world; a world Arrigo can’t even comprehend saying goodbye to. This Christmas, Luc finds himself confronted with a choice – a second chance at life, or staying with a man he could quite easily die for.

In Crisis in Faith, I was introduced to some very intriguing characters. I was teased with just the right amount of history to Arrigo’s beginnings and the company he keeps, to be left wanting more. Luc is wrapped up in his own quickly-changing life but the author balances Luc’s self-absorbed tendencies with some very human emotions to keep the character on the right side of likable. The story itself kept me interested as I got to know more about the world these characters inhabit and by the end of it, I felt as if a door had been opened onto many future possibilities. I’m not sure if it was necessary to involve the Christmas holidays in this story, as it seemed a little out of place compared to the other plot elements; elements that I might say worked very well and made for an enjoyable read.

Too Soon For Love


Title: Too Soon For Love
Author: Kimberly Gardner
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-300-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Standing at the grave site, Michael Stricker still cannot believe his partner of twelve years is really gone. Michael is blind and he trustily relied on his partner, Phillip DiMartino. When Phillip’s family insist that Michael attend the after-funeral luncheon, it is Phillip’s nurse, Alan Stuart, who comes to Michael’s rescue by offering to drive Michael home.

Too Soon For Love is a tremendously poignant story of life after a loss. The setting is Philadelphia. The characters are exceptionally realistic. Michael is a gay romance author, who was financially supported by wealthy, older Phillip. Also, Phillip was Michael’s first boyfriend. Blind since early childhood, Michael is competent enough to live an independent life with the exception of reading the mail. However, Michael had been manipulated into being almost totally dependant on Phillip. After his death, Phillip’s well-meaning relatives treat Michael like a poor helpless blind man. During Phillip’s brief hospital stay, Michael became acquainted with Alan. There was an underlining attraction between Michael and Alan. When Michael needed help with reading, he called Alan. Spending time together, the two men became emotionally closer. Discovering Phillip’s betrayal lends a hand in motivating Michael to move on with his life.

Alan has secretly loved Michael upon first sight, although he feels guilty over his attraction to the still-grieving man. Alan suffers in silence, while Michael slowly accepts the reality of his relationship with Phillip. Being an honorable man, Alan waits for Michael to decide if they will have a future together. Kimberly Gardner has created a superbly inspiring romance that I absolutely enjoyed.