Saturday, March 26, 2011

Infected: Bloodlines


Title: Infected: Bloodlines
Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-664-4
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Private Detective Roan McKichan hasn’t had much happiness in his life, but the time he’s shared with his husband Paris has given him the love and joy he never expected to have. Being born with the werecat virus has allowed Roan’s body year to cope with cycle changes, however his new abilities frighten those closest to him. Unfortunately, Paris’ strain of the virus has deteriorated his health over time and makes planning for the future virtually impossible.

Roan’s latest case has him searching for the killer of a girl from a wealthy family. Will the case be enough of a distraction to keep his thoughts from centering on his husband’s health issues? Will Roan get his wish and find a way help Paris battle the werecat virus?

Andrea Speed’s Infected: Bloodlines took me back to one of my favorite couples. Watching Roan and Paris interact is never predictable. Their love and heartrending connection drew me to them and by the end of this story I found myself in tears and wondering about the next chapter to come. I haven’t experienced this type of emotional rollercoaster ride while reading a story in quite some time. There were a mix of highs and lows throughout, and some of the scenes are so touching that I had to stop reading. I wanted to take in every detail and reflect on each sensation the story drew from me.

Ms. Speed has a fantastic way with words. The bits of humor, dashes of sensual scenes between the couple, and the mystery were mixed together perfectly. The story flowed from beginning to end and I can only hope there is more to come. Those who enjoy watching Roan in action will witness his new abilities in action while watching him put fear into those who are foolish enough to cross his path and think he’s a push over. If you’ve enjoyed the previous story you don’t want to Infected: Bloodlines.

An Assassin’s Touch


Title: An Assassin’s Touch
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-802-4
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Shane’s a leopard so he’s used to the other coalition members treating him like he’s crazy. He’s also used to being alone since everyone knows leopards don’t have the ability to love. If that’s true, then why is he still craving the tasty panther he had at Christmas?

I became a huge fan of Ms. Hecht’s The Lost Shifters series with the first book, and while I have loved each story, there have been two characters whose stories I was really looking forward to reading. One was Carson from Savage Awakenings and the other is Shane. Each of the men were outcasts within the coalition and I wondered how the author would work around that. With Carson, it was easy to imagine the coalition members changing how they saw at him. With Shane, however, it’s hard to see that ever happening and the opening scene is a great example why.

Once Trevor comes into the story, it soon becomes clear that it no longer matters what the rest of the coalition thinks, as these two just can’t help but be drawn to each other. It also explains why the author had to break Shane’s story down into two books, as Trevor is just as complex as Shane. These two men fill a space within the other that has been empty for too long and the need they have for each other comes through clearly. The attraction between them is so intense that they heat up the pages. Just as it seems that the two may be able to have a relationship, the author ends the story on a cliff hanger.

An Assassin’s Touch is one of the best stories in the series to date and is full of passion and intrigue that will hold the readers attention, leaving them waiting impatiently for the second part to be released.

Healing the Mage


Title: Healing the Mage
Author: Gianna Simone
Publisher: Noble Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.nobleromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60592-255-3
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Aidan is trying to dissolve his partnership, keep from going to jail and hoping he is home when his powers start to mature. Lily is on her way home when she feels Aidan’s pain and can’t help trying to help him.

Healing the Mage is the second book about the Marchands. While several characters were in both books, you have a lot more character involvement within this story. Aidan keeps trying to hide things from Lily while controlling some of the things she does in her everyday life, not just the bedroom. This causes a lot of conflict between the two of them. Lily’s feelings about her family and the way they tried to force her to do what they wanted her to do with her life is so realistic, as most of us sometimes feel that way.

Lily and Aidan have a lot of chemistry and Lily is just learning about her submission. Keep lots of ice on hand as you read this book. A large aspect of this book is also about trusting your family and others, especially when you are faced with a problem you have no idea how to resolve. The twists in Healing the Mage will keep you on your toes as you read.

I enjoyed Healing the Mage more than In the Devil’s Arms. I do recommend you read both in order to get a little taste of background, but it is not necessary to do so to enjoy either book.

Little Jamie


Title: Little Jamie
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-183-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jamie became fascinated with BDSM while in college and his interest hasn’t changed so wanting to be a part of that world, he now works as a waiter at the Hammer. He’s looking for a Dom to teach him what being a submissive is all about but every master he flirts with turns the little twink down flat. Jamie’s feeling depressed and deflated after another rejection when he catches the eye of Davis, a Master who’s more than willing to give him the attention he craves. The question is whether Davis can convince the inexperienced Jamie to be his own sweet little sub.

Little Jamie, a Hammer story is another little short focusing on a Dom finding his perfect sub. In this case, the sub is sweet twink Jamie, who’s been turned down by every Master he’s flirted with, which I never understood and it wasn’t really explained. In Jamie, Mr. Michael has created a cute little sub with a willing, sweet personality that immediately wins over your heart. He’s enthusiastic, hardworking and tries hard to please those in authority…what Dom wouldn’t want him? He’s a determined guy and when Davis shows an interest in him, he jumps at the chance he’s been waiting for.

Personality-wise, Jamie and Davis are a good match and physically, these two are sizzling hot. Davis is good for Jamie and Mr. Michael did a nice job moving them through the first few steps of their new relationship. I really enjoyed the final lunch scene at the Hammer. It was a nice finale getting to see Jamie happy at last.

Beneath Dark Stars


Title: Beneath Dark Stars
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-078-8
Genre: {M/M} Shapeshifter, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Detective Fallon Roxbury is now a special police consultant after his last murder investigation left him deaf in one ear. It was also during that investigation that Fallon met his lover, a shapeshifter called Sundown. Fallon and Sundown join forces again to bring down a cold case serial killer.

Beneath Dark Stars is the sequel to The Back Stairs. The well written plot reveals more of Sundown’s secrets as well as solving murders that have a religious implication. The characters are believable. The intimate scenes are sensual. Fallon is a hard working detective, who receives personal satisfaction from busting the bad guys. However, the long hours have taken its toll on Fallon’s health. Fallon has a protective nature. He is constantly concerned about keeping Sundown safe.

Sundown is a mischief maker; he enjoys playing pranks on Fallon’s police partner, Juny. He is a caregiver as well, bonding with a human male is all Sundown ever wanted. Sundown knows he can trust Fallon with his secrets, as well as reveal his true nature. Fallon and Sundown have a strong loving relationship. They also work in concert deciphering crimes; Sundown’s talents enhance Fallon’s ability to fit the puzzle pieces together to find the perpetrators. Beneath Dark Stars has intrigue, as well as a dash of humor. KC Kendricks has created an impressive story that I enjoyed immensely.

In the Devil’s Arms


Title: In the Devil’s Arms Author: Gianna Simone Publisher: Noble Romance Publisher URL: http://www.nobleromance.com/ ISBN: 978-1-60592-168-6 Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Paranormal Rating: 4 Nymphs Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph Devlin has found Helene again and is not going to let her go, once he realizes that she is a submissive. Helene has her fantasies, but has not acted on them until now. The story within In the Devil’s Arms almost feels as if it gets lost within the relationship between Devlin and Helene. The chemistry between the two is so intense you need to have fans, ice and anything else you can think to cool down. However, the sex and training between the two seems to overshadow the rest of the book. The reader can get the gist of the storyline, and one of the secondary characters makes you want to get rid of him right from the start. Some of them needed to be developed a little more and I wasn’t always sure of the relationships between them, Helene and Devlin. Helene’s character has a lot to overcome as she is very insecure at times and also fights a societal prejudice. From the BDSM viewpoint, I would say to add In the Devil’s Arms to your bookshelf, you won’t be disappointed. All in all, this is a very intense read and you won’t want to put it down once you start. Even with the prologue though, I wasn’t sure what happened between Devlin and Helene. There is some reference to their past history, but it wasn’t very clear, at least for me.

Wait Until Dawn


Title: Wait Until Dawn
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-492-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It’s been nearly a year since Detective Rich Montoya was attacked and almost killed by his friend Laine’s stalker and his life is still a disaster. His physical injuries have healed but his emotional ones are still raw, and he’s being haunted by a malevolent spirit that’s making his life a living hell. Once his father discovers the circumstances under which he’s living, Rich is forced to make some changes which puts him on the path back to the town where he almost died.

It’s while driving back to McKinton when Rich’s life takes another turn and he meets big rig trucker, Chris Neeland. It only takes one look for the big guy to know that the deeply wounded Rich is the man for him. It’s not as if his Wiccan mother hadn’t told him love would strike like a bolt of lightning. He remembers scoffing at her words but now it looks like she was right.

Wait Until Dawn is the fourth release in the Southern Spirits series by author Bailey Bradford. Since the characters and plotline of this series started in When the Dead Speak, I recommend the books be read in sequential order.

The opening scene is rather chilling and more than a little heartbreaking as you get the first taste of the emotional torture Rich is being put through by the spirit haunting him. It’s downright creepy how Ms. Bradford has constructed this scene and others where the malevolent spirits are present, making it clear early on, at least in my mind, that Rich is possessed. His fear, anger, hopeless, desperation and readiness to end his own life are tragic but vividly portrayed examples of what he’s going through.

Chris is an unusual character. He’s a big, burly guy covered in tattoos and piercings, and his mother is a Wiccan high priestess. Yet he’s gentle and loving toward Rich and is convinced immediately they belong together. Ms. Bradford did a nice job getting him and Rich together quickly and she did it convincingly, instead of it seeming rushed and unrealistic. These two men, while different, are just what the other needs and they are sizzling hot together.

It was great seeing Laine and his partner, Severo, play important supporting roles during this terrible time in Rich’s life. I am confused as to why the story divulged over into a couple of scenes –even a bedroom scene between them. That definitely pulled the story away from the main focus - Rich and Chris - and bogged down the flow a bit at that point.

The manner in which Ms. Bradford rid Rich’s body of his possessing spirit was interesting but since so much of the “action” took place while Rich was unconscious, the reader really only saw the end result making it seem rather rushed.

Nevertheless, this fourth release is still my new favorite in the series and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Learning to Wag


Title: Learning to Wag
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Werewolf Duke, the floor manager at paranormal pleasure club Bloodrose, is having very lustful thoughts after watching two of his co-workers perform on stage. Vampire Jamison has been visiting the club for years. However, this is the first time he has noticed just how handsome Duke really is. After watching Duke’s reaction to the stage performance, Jamison decides to give Duke a first hand experience on how to loosen up.

Learning to Wag is a fifteen-page Sip featuring the characters from Codes and Roses. Club owner Jonny pairs up supernatural creatures for the optimum sexual experience. In this installment, Jonny plays matchmaker to his friend, Jamison, and his employee, Duke. Being a vampire, Jamison is intrigued by the rumors of shifter’s rich blood. Duke has seen Jamison at the club many times, but he is confused about why Jamison has suddenly taken an interest in him. Julia Talbot has created a sweltering snippet that I very much enjoyed.

Hearts & Diamonds


Title: Hearts & Diamonds
Author: Nichelle Gregory
Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-473-6
Genre: {M/F}, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Quin is tracking diamond thieves that have been killing the staff members, once they rob the jewelry store. Nia is finishing up right before closing when Quin walks in, just ahead of the thieves, and saves her life.

Nia finds herself attracted to the FBI agent, even though Quin and his partner haven’t quite ruled her out as being a member of the gang. Once Nia is no longer under suspicion, she and Quin eventually act on their attraction to each other. They do their best to try to keep it casual, though that proves to be hard to do.

Hearts and Diamonds is a suspense story with some predictable twists. The thieves the FBI is tracking are a very sophisticated ring that has no qualms about killing witnesses. A lot of the storyline could be taken from any newspaper where jewelry stores are robbed and ruling out participation by employees of the theft is part and parcel of the investigation. The secondary characters are given cursory mention and I would have liked to learn a little more about a few of them.

Understanding Mark


Title: Understanding Mark
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-478-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Rick Dealy is a busy man. As a new lawyer in his uncle’s law firm he doesn’t have a lot of time for personal relationships but when he runs into Mark, the younger brother of an old friend, he decides to make the time. It doesn’t take long before Rick and Mark fall deeply in love and are sharing their lives but within just a few weeks, Mark’s new job is endangering their happiness and future.

Since he was a kid, Mark Shrader has had a crush on Rick, so when the chance arises to be with the man of his dreams, he’s jumps at it. There isn’t anything he won’t do to keep his lover safe, so when Tony Mondello, the owner of the club where Mark plays live music, threatens Rick, he has to make a decision. He has to choose between his own safety or Mark’s life. The question is whether Rick will forgive him and will they ever see each other again, so Mark can explain?

Understanding Mark is the third release in the Men of Riverside series by Serena Yates and it begins shortly after the last book ends. Due to the continuing plot line and character associations, I recommend the books be read in sequential order.

With this story, Ms.Yates brings to light with glaring clarity what happens when one person in a relationship makes an assumption, instead of talking. It’s miscommunication at its most horrible and almost costs both these men what they treasure most—each other. While Understanding Mark is my new series favorite, the fault in this relationship falls squarely on the shoulders of Rick. He’s crafted well as hard-working and loving guy but he’s also fairly oblivious of things that don’t directly affect him and his world, making him a believable, if flawed character. Nicely done, Ms. Yates.

Overall, the story is entertaining, with a good integration of the supporting characters, especially Ben, who will be featured in the upcoming release, Saving Zeke. The scenes near the end where Mark is rescued from his strange mob-boss/villain, Tony, are nicely played out, giving the reader just enough action to be satisfying.

Sweet Salvation


Title: Sweet Salvation
Author: Nicole Morgan
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-60601-925-2
Genre: {M/F} Erotic, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Because of the nightmares she’s been recently having, Shelby starts to remember her past. She suffered a great deal during her teenage years, much of which she’s suppressed and forgotten. During this time of emotional upheaval, Shelby and Rex become best friends but then their lives start to change.

Rex has made himself Shelby’s protector and he takes this self-imposed position literally. As she heals from her nightmares, Rex continues to tell her how beautiful she is but Shelby is having a hard time accepting the complements. Her younger life was not anywhere close to what a teenage should go through and love is the most lacking. Shelby is beginning to believe what Tamara, Rex, and Jack are now telling her.

Shelby’s confidence begins to grow through the help of her therapist, Samantha, who enables her to accept the fact that she was a victim of abuse. When Shelby decides to make some major changes in her life, Samantha tries to keep her from moving too fast and tells her to dump Rex, thinking he’s too close to her.

Sweet Salvation is a great title for this second book in the Sweet Awakenings series. I say that because of everything that goes on in this story. There is so much Rex and Shelby goes through together, and separately, I wanted to strangle both of them for not speaking their minds when they needed to. The way that Rex and Shelby went at it sexually, their hormones were in overdrive most of the time. I needed a cool drink after each encounter and yet, I was waiting for the next erotic adventure they had.

Rex lead me to believe that he would never be more than a womanizer, but I knew that deep down he’s lonely, and was waiting for that special woman. He is a little overbearing but a sweetheart, who would give the world to Shelby, if that made her happy. Shelby, on the other hand, had some serious issues and it cause her a lot of unnecessary grief during her adult life. I am extremely proud of her for the strength she gained in each situation that she had to face.

Ms. Morgan, many kudos to you for the great story, with the well-plotted out, detailed descriptions and the love shared through the characters. My love for the elderly couple, the Bristow’s from the last book, has spilled over into this one, and they are truly involved in Rex and Shelby’s lives. Even with the child abuse Shelby suffered by her mother, and the monster (as she called him), Shelby’s life is revealed and it explained a lot of her insecurities.

Now for the villain. Talk about taken completely by surprise….I was!! While reading this story, I learned that you must always have an open mind and expect the unexpected. This is a very well written book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.


Warning: This book depicts scenes containing child molestation.

Sweet Redemption


Title: Sweet Redemption
Author: Nicole Morgan
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand Inc.
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-60601-915-5
Genre: {M/F} Erotic, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Tamara Somers is trying to end her relationship with her boyfriend Brent, in a nice way but he refuses to let her go. She is feeling bored with their sex life and there is no love in her heart for him. One day, Tamara leaves work early to spend the New Year with Brent but walks in on him having sex with her best friend on her kitchen table. The betrayal she feels is deep and she heads out to the gym to work off her anger. When Tamara sees Jack working the front desk, she gets tongue tied and forgets everything else.

Jack, a former Navy SEAL, and now health club owner, hasn’t conquered the demons that still haunt him from the past. He feels the guilt of a failed mission, even though it’s not his fault, and he doesn’t trust people because of it. After stopping Tamara’s ex-boyfriend from hurting her, their first meeting goes from being reserved to a new level of friendship. Jack is having a hard time with Tamara meeting his best friend, Rex, who is a womanizer.

Brent has taken Tamara’s rejection to a new level by terrorizing her and he will not accept Tamara’s word that the relationship is over. His sanity is iffy at best, and he will do whatever it takes to get her back by his side, forever. What happens to Shelby and Tamara by Brent is incredible and they learn more about him as he becomes unstable.

Sweet Redemption is truly a realistic story that has happened at one time or another. This is the first book in the Sweet Awakenings series. There is so much going on in this story, I wasn’t sure who to believe at first. When the real personalities of Brent begin to come out, both Tamara and Shelby are in for quite a surprise.

Ms. Morgan has created quite a spell-bounding story, very well plotted out and very descriptive regarding child abuse. I didn’t know what to think of the ex-boyfriend’s behavior, whose life fell apart after his betrayal to Tamara. Brent is a villain who had no limits to what he would do to accomplish his selfish goals.

Jack and Tamara have found each other and they learned the real meaning of love. These two never ceased to amaze me with their trust and need of each other’s closeness. Jack’s best friend, Rex, thought he was crazy for staying with one woman, but found himself emotionally drawn into their situation. I really admired Tamara for her strength in fending off Brent and Jack’s emotions almost got the best of him because of his love for her.

I am excited to know there are more books to read about the Navy SEALS, and looking forward to reading the next story.


Warning: This story contains excessive violence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trammel


Title: Trammel
Author: Anah Crow, Dianne Fox
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-458-9
Genre: {M/M}, Urban Fantasy, Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

To be published May 24, 2011

Lindsay and Dane have settled into a relationship that just about passes as normal for them. Yet, before they can get too comfortable Cyrus stirs things up, first with the introduction of Noah, and later with his dire predictions.

I would strongly suggest that if some time has passed since you last read Tatterdemalion, the first book in the Foundations of Magic series, you do so before starting Trammel. Trammel, the second book in the series, picks up some time after the end of book one and draws you right back into the fantasy world created by these two wonderful authors. The story is more fantasy than romance; however, the connection between Dane and Lindsay is just as strong as before. I did worry how things would work with the introduction of Noah, a young mage who came into his magic late as a result of a tragedy. It soon becomes easy to see that Noah in no way interferes with the men’s relationship and, in some ways, makes things easier for Dane.

When a young girl comes into her powers, old villains show up. This allowed the authors to throw everyone’s lives into a tailspin. There are many twists and turns, some you would least expect that keep you glued to this book, but leaves you wondering what will happen in book three. For those who enjoy the urban fantasy genre, Trammel will be a great addition to your library but remember to read Tatterdemalion first or you will be lost to what’s going on.

Pisces: From Behind That Locked Door


Title: Pisces: From Behind That Locked Door
Author: Pepper Espinoza
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-071-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Being a gay man is Utah is difficult enough, but add young and overweight and it’s even worse. Jay isn’t interested in going to a club and thinks he’s not attractive enough to catch the eye of another man, anyway. To alleviate his loneliness, he spends hours studying, knowing it’s pointless to waste time daydreaming about something he’ll never have. That changes when he meets, Stephen, the new director of the campus GLBT center, with whom he promptly falls in love.

Jay knows he doesn’t stand a chance with a gorgeous man like Stephen but hoping to see him outside the center, goes to the university gym. His plans works better than he ever hopes and soon finds himself with a new workout buddy, lunch partner and friend. When their new friendship moves into kissing and more, Jay doesn’t know whether he can trust Stephen at his word. Stephen could have anyone. Why would he want Jay?

Pisces: From Behind That Locked Door is the most recent release in the Boys of the Zodiac series, this one by Pepper Espinoza. It’s a well written and plotted story of one man’s journey of growth and discovery and for a variety of reasons, is my new series favorite. The flow is smooth and while it’s not a rollercoaster ride of speed, the pacing is such that it keeps the readers’ interest from beginning to end.

Jay isn’t the typical romantic lead in any genre – he just doesn’t fit the usual mold – he’s totally unconventional in his physical attributes, outlook on life and confidence level. Yet, he’s an awesome guy whose pain and unhappiness can make you cry, or at least sniffle a little, and it’s here that Ms. Espinoza excelled. Her expression of Jay, his attitude, background and the people making him miserable are vividly described, creating a scenario that could have stepped out of the real world. Don’t get me wrong, Stephen’s a wonderful character too, but the backbone of this story rests firmly on Jay’s shoulders as he grows into the strong, more self-assured individual he deserves to be.

I loved that even though Jay started off trying to slim-down/lose weight for Stephen, in the end what he did, he did for himself. Even his most cruel abuser was made to see herself for what she was in the end, making for a satisfying ending on that front, as well. Read and enjoy. I know I did.

Bayou Dreams


Title: Bayou Dreams
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-960-7
Genre: (M/M} Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Ted Canedo is having the same dream he’d had for the last four months. Could it mean he would find the man of his dreams on his upcoming trip to bayou? Ted is openly gay, a disgraced ex-cop from New Orleans. Working as a Private Investigator, his case takes him into the small town of St. Jerome where Ted meets Sheriff Scott Dupree, Alpha werewolf and Ted’s predestined mate.

Bayou Dreams is the first book in the Rougaroux Social Club series. The well written plot is filled with emotional turmoil, a touch of voodoo magic along with humor. The setting is the Louisiana Cajun swamps. The intimate scenes are delightfully sensual. The well matched characters are believable. Ted is an honorable man who has been misjudged by the NOPD. After his patrol partner, whom Ted secretly loved, was killed, Ted vowed to never fall in love with a straight man again. After meeting Scott and realizing he was straight, Ted desperately tries to break the bond between them.

Scott takes his duties very seriously. When the moon is full, it’s all Scott can do to keep the town and the pack, as well as his inner wolf under control. Scott’s wolf is not interested in the gender, only the claiming, of his mate. Add to this, his mother is casting love spells to find Scott a mate. Never in Scott’s wildest dreams did he imagine having a male mate. Scott feels guilty for rejecting Ted. However the pack came first. Scott feared exile if he claimed a male as his mate. Finally reason prevails when both men are sufferings from separation illness.

A little heartbreaking at times, Bayou Dreams illustrates the psychological chaos of a budding relationship while dealing with narrow-mindedness. The story also exhibits how negative individuals generate equal prejudice for anyone who is different. Lynn Lorenz has produced a spectacular romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Pirate Bride


Title: The Pirate Bride
Author: Temple Hogan
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-234-1
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Captain Jackson Shaw is on a mission to get as drunk as humanly possible, after the woman he thinks he loves announces her engagement to another. A few more drinks and lot more confusion later, Jackson finds himself married to an auburn-haired beauty he meets in a tavern. Their disastrous honeymoon night leaves Jackson abandoned by his new wife and embarrassed with his bedroom behavior.

Red Charlie is more than just one of the most infamous pirates on the sea. She is also Charity, a spirited woman who’s been thrust into the lifestyle she now embraces. Escaping her new husband on their wedding night had been easy compared to the current mess Charity finds herself caught up in. Her ship and crew have been captured by Jackson and there is only one way she can get them back. For a fortnight, Charity has to play the role of Jackson’s wife in every way imaginable.

Charity agrees to give Jackson her body, but she has sworn that he will never have her heart. Now if only she can repress the lust she feels for him, Charity can focus on getting her revenge on Jackson. A battle of the wills is kicked off as Jackson and Charity get better acquainted. Things become convoluted and hopeless when Jackson’s ex-lover threatens not only his future with Charity, but his life as well. If someone doesn’t give in first, all could be lost.

The Pirate Bride is the third book of the Pirate’s Booty series and I got a kick out of watching Jackson and Charity fighting for control. At first, Jackson was dealing with his bruised male ego because of his performance on their wedding night. Even though he had been jilted, I just couldn’t feel sorry for him. And when Charity ditched him, I couldn’t stop snickering. But don’t take this as meaning that I don’t love Jackson, because I do. He’s a man of morals and honor, so it was impossible to dislike him.

Charity is a pro at revenge and that made for some very amusing scenes with her husband. When she was forced to bring Jackson his food, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Temple Hogan definitely made me laugh at their antics. I was also touched when I discovered how Charity had become a pirate and what being a pirate meant to her. Jackson uncovered her softer side, which never had an opportunity to be seen very often. The ending left me imagining the wonderful adventures that are just around the corner for this power couple and looking forward to my next pirate tale. I think readers will agree.

Hawk’s Pretty Baby


Title: Hawk’s Pretty Baby
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-056-6
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

As commander of the Brac Pack sentry wolves, Hawk is one of the badest shifters in the pack, next to the Alpha. Once he meets Johnny however, the tough guy turns into a teddy bear for his mate. Will Hawk be able to keep Johnny with him, or does Johnny’s brother have tighter control over the young man?

I loved this new addition to the Brac Pack series. Readers were introduced to both characters in the first story and I wondered just how the author would be able to bring them together. Johnny is one of those characters that the readers will instantly fall in love with. The young man has suffered great abuse at the hands of his brother. This, and the fact that Johnny is supposedly mildly retarded, means Hawk has a few hurdles to overcome in the beginning. The gentleness and care Hawk shows his mate is outstanding, and like Hawk, I could not help but think Johnny’s diagnosis is off. It was wonderful to see Johnny come out of his shell and the scene with the wallets had me laughing out loud.

The story is not without its angst however, as the author makes sure Johnny’s brother shows up to cause a fair share of trouble. More new mates are also introduced, giving the reader a peek at the upcoming stories. Hawk’s Pretty Baby is sure to bring the author, and the series, many new fans.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Necessary Decision


Title: Necessary Decision
Author: A.D. Christopher
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419927270
Genre: {M/M/M} Shape-Shifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Pride-born Kylar is in need of release after a hard day of training exercises on the practice fields. He walks to the slave cabins to work off his sexual tension with other men. Slaves Varek and Gable seldom sought the company of others, content to keep their love private. However, when the high council approves a three-way mating, Varek and Gable see a possible chance to gain freedom as well as seduce Kylar; the slaves cannot resist attempting the venture.

Necessary Decision is a well written heartwarming love story. The plot illustrates prejudice and jealousy, as well as, emotional distress. The Orion Pride forbade sexual contact with women before marriage. Only full Pride members could compete for female mates, unmated were-panthers would visit the slave cabins. The characters are believable. The three-way lovemaking is sensual. Kylar has never experienced love of any kind until he spent time with Gable and Varek. He is class-conscious, with a warrior’s arrogance.

Varek and Gable are from defeated prides, enslaved to serve the Pride-born men. Varek and Gable were lovers long before they tempted Kylar. Varek has a formidable protective instinct when it comes to Gable, as well as Kylar. Gable looks for the goodness in every situation. What started out as a means to be free swiftly evolves into a beyond a doubt loving relationship. A.D. Christopher has created an impressive saga that I greatly enjoyed.

Fixated


Title: Fixated
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-815-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

With a lover, a teenage son and a successful career, Mingo has a full life. After the governor of Hawaii passes a bill allowing for same sex unions, Mingo is over the moon when Francois purposes. When the men land a new case however, will they end up becoming victims of the Banshee Goddess of the Seven Bridges?

Fixated is the fifth book of the Mingo McCloud series and will leave the readers satisfied, until the next installment comes along. The men, Mingo and Francois, are back in Hawaii and moving on with their lives. With a young teenager in the house, their once imaginative sex life has been more or less regulated to more proper areas but with Ferric away at camp, its time for the men to play. With that out in the open, fans of the author know that Mingo and Francois are going to burn up the pages. But the sex is not just gratuitous and the deep connection between the men only seems to grow stronger. As always, the author throws in some suspense in the form of a possible murder when Mingo once more works for Benny.

A few previous characters make a return to the series and new characters are introduced while the author continues to bring his stories alive with his vivid descriptions of the area. As each new story is added to this series, it soon becomes one of my favorites and Fixated is no exception. While the stories in this series can be considered stand alone stories, I strongly encourage you to try all the books in the Mingo McCloud series as you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mending Shattered Souls


Title: Mending Shattered Souls
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: http://sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-265-8
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Trapped inside his fractured mind, Sidhe Prince Pierre D’Argent’s only wish is to, in some way, find deliverance in death. When the Dark Side Syndrome allowed a few moments of rational thought, Pierre realized that it was not the humans or vampires he hated, but himself. A mysterious man going by the name of X rescues Pierre from the Sidhe prison. On the run from the Sidhe and vampire nations, Pierre and X discover a powerful love for each other.

Mending Shattered Souls is the fourth book in the Kaldor Saga. In this action-packed episode, X’s past memories are restored. The Kaldorian land of Xeetha is under attack from their Alarian neighbors and the demon warriors are needed to free their people from being destroyed. The characters are convincing. Because of his psychosomatic illness, Pierre was preoccupied with killing anyone connected to the vampire Keenan. Pierre’s imprisonment was his family’s attempt to control the madness. Like most of the royal elves, Pierre has healing magic when he is lucid. Bonding with X helps to stabilize Pierre’s mind. However, his remorse, his love for X, as well as his endeavor to heal others is Pierre’s only salvation.

Imprisoned by the humans for refusing to hunt down Sidhe and vampires, X was held captive for many years. Tortured and suffering from amnesia, X’s honorable warrior instincts are still a major part of X, along with his ability to openly express love. Scarlet Hyacinth has created a notably captivating tale with a bounty of chaos in addition to some very pleasurable intimacy scenes. I look forward to the next episode of this series.

The Duty of a Beta


Title: The Duty of a Beta
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-489-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

As the new pack Beta, Gunnar takes his responsibilities seriously. One of those duties is to take Alfred, the pack troublemaker, as his intended mate. He knows what’s expected and is determined to carry out his Alpha’s wishes, even if doing so just about kills him, body and soul.

The problem is that his eyes keep straying to Talbot, but that doesn’t mean his plans to mate with Alfred need to change, does it? The Alpha mates of his pack believe in love, but Gunnar’s life is ruled by responsibility and duty. But if that’s the case, why can’t be keep his hands off the sweet little body of the pack Omega?

The Duty of a Beta is book three in Kim Dare’s Pack Discipline series and since the plots and characters are so interconnected, I recommend they be read in order

I’ve liked Talbot since his introduction, so I’ve been waiting to see this sweet little Omega get a story of his own. But I must admit I was surprised that stoic Gunnar was his perfect match. These two are as opposite as opposite can be, but somehow it works, even if poor Talbot spends a great portion of the story convinced he’ll never have a chance of a happy life with the man he loves.

That was one aspect of the plot I found confusing. It’s a known fact that the Alphas believe in love matches—both themselves and Steffan and Francis in the last release—so why wouldn’t they believe in something similar for Talbot and Gunnar? That a love match would be acceptable for one pack couple and not another didn’t make sense to me.

The overall pacing is fast, and the character development good…even if I did have trouble warming up to Gunnar until near the end, and the sex is sizzling hot. I look forward to the next release in the series, Love of a Mate, featuring Caden and Alfred.

Retrieving Love


Title: Retrieving Love
Author: Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419930607
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Zerachiel is a retrieval expert, hired to get a cuff for the witch that inherited it instead of her twin brother. Amber doesn’t realize that she was making a delivery to the brother instead until Zerachiel tries to take the cuff from her and ends up kidnapping her to protect her from the hit team hired by the brother.

Retrieving Love was a fun book to read, though I would have liked to hear more about the underground world Ms. Lapthorne created. The sparks flew between Zerachiel and Amber, once they caught their breath. The attraction between them was instant and I could feel the emotions leaping off the page. Sometimes you just have that instant attraction to people as Amber had with Zerachiel, as well as an instant friendship with Melia.

The fight over the inheritance could have been taken from family dynamics everywhere. In this case, the cuff was imbued with magic that could have far reaching consequences. I like the way the author resolved the puzzle about Amber removing the cuff from her wrist.

Retrieving Love was an interesting, fast paced story and I am looking forward to reading more of the Urban Seduction series, as I found some of the secondary characters just as interesting as Amber and Zerachiel.

Retrieving Desire


Title: Retrieving Desire
Author: Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419931024
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Melia is worried about her brother because he hasn’t been in touch in three weeks and he borrowed her grandmother’s crystal. Melia turns to Mishka for help to find him though she knows Mishka thinks she is flighty.

This second installment of the Urban Seductions series will keep your interest even as Melia and Mishka burn the pages up with their chemistry. After Melia approaches Mishka for help, they both discover their impressions about each other are way off base. All of us are guilty of making wrong assumptions about people at times.

Retrieving Desire is a fun filled suspense story with a few twists. As the story takes some interesting turns, you learn more about the magical underworld in Chicago. I was a little surprised by the lengths that Melia and Mishka went to find her brother, though some people might do the same.

I did take a little bit of issue with some of the typos, because in some places it was a little jarring. I do recommend that you read Retrieving Love before Retrieving Desire as it will give you a little more understanding about both the main characters.

Why I Love Geeks


Title: Why I Love Geeks
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-075-7
Genre: {M/M} Romantic Comedy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Homicide detective Charles Davidson has an aversion to electronics; he does not even know how to answer his new cell phone. Annoyed by the constant beeping, Chuck decides to pitch the phone into the city traffic. Before Chuck can accomplish that feat, Herbert Pommerest rushes to the cell phone’s rescue. Chuck and Herb are immediately attracted to each other. All too soon, Chuck’s current homicide case places Herb in danger from a coldblooded killer.

Why I Love Geeks is a superb comedy, intermingled with suspense. The setting is New York City. The intimate scenes are incredible. The characters are believable. Chuck is easy-going with a positive personality. He is the eldest of seven children, as well as the only third-generation New York City policeman in his family. Chuck has common sense intelligence, rather than book intellect. However, he is comfortable with his own self worth; Chuck is not demoralized by Herb’s genius. Openly gay, Chuck has an excellent rapport with his whole family, who is thrilled to see Chuck in love.

Herb is a lonely, brilliant biochemist with a tongue that bypasses the “think before you speak” brain function. Herb was raised in an academic environment and is lacking the usual dating experiences. Chuck and Herb exhibit love, plus respect in their relationship, treating each other as equals. The story also touches on Chuck’s youngest brother, who is in the military restricted by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I got the impression a sequel may be in the works.

T. A. Chase has created a hilarious saga with exceptionally loveable characters, an exciting mystery plot that I found fascinating, in addition to being thoroughly enjoyable.

Tristan


Title: Tristan
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-362-X
Genre: {M/M/M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

On reaching puberty, Tristan found he was different—he was an Omega—and learned his life would never be his own. By pack law, he’s destined to be sold to the biggest bidder and his body used by the Alpha and his two Betas to increase their power and the power of the pack. However, it doesn’t mean Tristan has to be happy about it, making the little strong-willed and stubborn Omega determined to stand up for himself in his new home.

Alpha Jared and his Betas, Cameron and Rhyce bring Tristan into their pack and get much more than they bargained for. Tristan might be forced to let the three men use him for sex, but that doesn’t mean he has to give them anything else that’s not spelled out in his purchase contract. They don’t know what to think. He’s nothing like what they expected. Can they ever win his heart as easily as they control his body and can they find any common ground to build a relationship that will grow and change, keeping them all safe when danger threatens?

Tristan is the first release in Joyee Flynn’s new series Resistant Omegas. It’s approximately 36K in length, giving the author enough time to write an attention-grabbing story but still short enough to be a quick and enjoyable read.

The twist of having the Omega be sold to the biggest bidder and his body used to increase the power of the pack inner circle is a new and unique concept for me. Ms. Flynn did a nice job creating this new world and developing the personalities of the four men. They couldn’t have been more different but they worked well with each other, fitting together like pieces of a interlocking puzzle.

Keeping the story in Tristan’s point of view allowed the reader to understand how he is feeling in this emotionally painful situation and I think it’s the best choice in how to present his tale. Otherwise, the impact of his situation would have been diminished.

I started off feeling sorry for Tristan but it didn’t take long to realize that this fiery Omega is more than capable of taking care of himself. In amongst some blistering hot sex, there’s also lots of misunderstanding, wrong impressions, hurt, anger and even a little danger as these four men learn what it means to be in a relationship…pack…and mates.

Deep Indigo


Title: Deep Indigo
Author: Cathryn Cade
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publishers URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-365-0
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal SciFi, Futuristic
Rating: 4 NymphsLiterary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Commander Daron Navos is a man of rigid control, even locking away his physical needs behind a wall of ice. Everything changes with the arrival of his new intern, Nelah, who he finds more tempting than he can resist.

Nelah’s had a case of hero-worship for Navos for some time and jumped at the chance to intern with him, never imagining her sexual fantasies might come true. Unfortunately, the two are put at odds almost immediately when he discovers her step-father is his bitter enemy, Cyan.

Despite Navos’ anger, he and Nelah must soon join forces to stop a sabotage attempt and their intimate mind-joining sends them into a post-battle night of sizzling passion. As Nelah learns to use her abilities, it becomes clear someone powerful is remotely controlling those trying to destroy their ship. Can Navos open his heart to love and what’s he going to do if Nelah must allow herself to be sacrificed in order to save the Orion?

Deep Indigo is the fourth and last release in the Orion series by author Cathryn Cade and this final installment is a nice wrap-up of a well plotted story arc and might actually be the best yet. While it could be enjoyed on its own, I do recommend the books be read in order for greatest understanding and enjoyment.

The main male character in this book is Navos, a stoic half-human/half Indigon male. He’s an interesting personality and in some ways, reminds me of Spock on the old Star Trek series in that he prides himself on his dedication to his position and the control of his emotions. Yet Navos is angry after young Nelah boards the ship and he doesn’t know how to handle it so he lashes out, showing he’s far from cold and unfeeling. Nelah is young, mostly untrained, strong-willed and her hero-worship of Navos is seductive. Ms. Cade putting these two together in a sizzling hot sexual relationship that’s also filled with anger, turmoil and danger works nicely; playing both characters off the other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The flow of the book is smooth, and its action-packed from beginning to end, keeping the readers interest as Navos, Nelah and the supporting characters try to keep the Orion from being destroyed. The villain isn’t a surprise but that doesn’t make the story, or its resolution, a disappointment as Ms. Cade uses great creativity to save the day and give our hero and heroine the happily-ever-after they want.