By Any Other Name by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy


By Any Other Name by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

DEA agent Riley Scanlon and teacher Olivia Thackery were deep in love when they renovated an old house in Arkansas and planned for their April wedding.

When a fire swept through Riley’s mobile home, Olivia refuses tp accept his death but as the months pass, her head knows the truth but her heart still holds hope. A dream sends her to Memphis, Tennessee, on a wild goose chase search for her lost love although it’s a long shot.

In a chance meeting, she finds him on Beale Street only to realize that the danger is greater than she could have ever imagined and their lives are about to change, irrevocably and forever.

Gripping, emotional and lovely.

I love the work of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy. She writes well and I’m always drawn into the stories. This one was no different. I couldn’t get enough of Riley and Olivia’s tale. It pulled at my heartstrings and made me want more.

This is an emotional book. Olivia is about to marry the man of her dreams, but his trailer burns to the ground, and she believes he’s dead. I can’t imagine being in her shoes and I don’t want to say I enjoyed, but rather, I appreciated the journey she went on with her emotions. The author showed these well and I was immersed in the story. I felt for Olivia.

This one had serious feels throughout. If you’re looking for a story that’s got a few twists and turns, moves fast and will leave you happy, then this is the one you’re looking for. Check it out.

The Game by AB Wilson


The Game by AB Wilson
The Shellenberg Brothers series, book 2
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

He’s everything she hates, but exactly what she needs. What will it take to turn two rival players into teammates?

Recover. That’s Abby’s entire plan when she suffers a potentially career-ending injury. But she needs financial support for her rehab now that she’s been dropped by her pro-soccer team.

Enter Matti, her unlikely, tatted up savior with a man bun. The guy with everything she wants, a stellar career and the ability to get away with anything. When Matti’s dropped by his team after yet another off-pitch scandal, he needs someone to help rehab his reputation.

After a gossip column goes viral with a piece about their supposed engagement, the plan falls into place. A fake engagement to save Matti’s career, and access to the best rehab center for her. A new city, no friends, the only person they have to rely on is each other, and Abby’s grumpy cat of course.

As they play pretend day in and day out, their feelings start to shift from those of uncomfortable teammates to something a lot like love as the two find out each other’s deepest secrets. But when a new opportunity for Matti comes knocking, ready to pull them apart, will they take the risk of admitting the truth behind their feelings?

Soccer, an accident, love and issues. This book has it all.

I love AB Wilson’s work and this book was no different. It’s hot and there’s heart. I read this over the course of two evenings and I’m glad I did. I got invested in the characters and wanted to get back to them.

I liked that the author dealt with mental issues and learning disabilities with Matti. He’s got his heart in the right place, but he gets derailed. He was humanized and I loved him. Abby knows what she wants and when she gets hurt, it’s catastrophic. I liked how she and Matti worked together. That said, this book also brings to light the pay gap for women versus men’s soccer.

There is one quibble I have with the story, but I won’t get into it to keep from ruining the story. While it might have been a quibble for me, it might not be for everyone. The family dynamics are tough and that might annoy some readers, but it wasn’t a deterrent for me. It made the characters more relatable.

If you want a story that’s hot, sweet, has heart and will tug at your heart, then this might be the sports romance for you.

Surge by Harley Wylde


Surge by Harley Wylde
Hades Abyss #8
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Dicentra

Colette’s a sweet angel in need of saving, and like it or not, I have a hero complex. Marrying her seems like the right thing to do. Then my sometimes lover, Aidan, finds us together. The hurt in his eyes nearly guts me.

My club knows I’m bisexual. I’ve not hidden it from them. Doesn’t mean I’ve flaunted it in their faces either. So when I decided to claim Aidan and Colette, I’m not sure how it’s going to end. All I know is they both need me, and I need them too.

With human traffickers after Colette, a possible traitor in the club, and more chaos than I can handle, I do the only thing I can… I run with my new wife and husband. Once I figure out who wants Colette, I’ll do whatever it takes to destroy them. Until then, I’ll keep her safe, and Aidan too. Because they both mean more to me than I realized.

Those who love motorcycle club romances will be excited to read Surge’s story in the latest releases in Harley Wylde’s Hades Abyss series, Surge.

Surge never saw himself settling down the like the other club members. He’s been distant from his lover, Aidan because he can’t give him the things he wants. But when he crosses paths with Colette, his hero complex kicks in and he can’t stop himself from taking her under his protection. Will the three of them be able to work their relationship out, or will it end in heartbreak?

Insta-love is a must with a story of this length, and Harley Wylde makes it work for Colette and Surge’s relationship. While that portion of the story worked, there was a teensy bit of a disconnect for me with Aidan and Surge’s relationship, as I felt there was more on-page backstory needed. As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the full polyamorous relationship, but I was pleased to see things work out for Surge, Aidan, and Colette in the end. Like all of the author’s other books, it’s quite steamy and that was fun for me as a reader.

My main complaint about this book was the difficulty in keeping track of all the different players and clubs in the world. The author has multiple motorcycle club romance series (Dixie Reapers, Devil’s Fury, Devil’s Boneyard, and Reckless Kings just to name a few), and there is a shared world between the different books. The different clubs do interact, and it was hard to keep track of who was doing what and who belongs to which club. I felt compelled to take notes to keep everything straight, which is no fun when you just want to sink into a story. It did impact my reading experience a little bit, but not enough for me to stop reading.

Overall, this was another entertaining motorcycle club romance from Harley Wylde. With regard to trigger warnings and content to be aware of, there are darker themes, explicit sex, lots of swearing, and some references to human trafficking. Please be aware that the book does feature a polyamorous relationship at its heart, but if that’s not your thing there are minimal MMF scenes so they can be easily skipped. It can get very dark at times but don’t get too discouraged because the book ends in a happily ever after (and there is no cheating whatsoever).

Syre by KyAnn Waters


Syre by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: K.Ink
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Her name is Syrena, given from the land that holds her secrets. Once hunted to extinction, she was the last of her kind. Now as the Syre, she offers her gift of eternal life to reincarnated lovers.

Ethan Duncan enjoys the cold, a symptom of being in love with a vampire. He’s spent lifetimes trying to heal her soul. But she continues to deny herself the promise of love.

The Reshad, deadly dragons, have returned. Ethan vows to sacrifice himself to ensure her survival. To save him, she’ll become the hunter and fight the enemy to the death…maybe even hers.

Hot, fast and passionate.

Syrena loves Ethan–but she won’t say it. He loves her. I know when I get a KyAnn Waters book, I’ll get a good romance and this one was no different. I have to admit this is part of a series and reading the others might have helped some reading the story. I wasn’t lost, but it’s definitely good to check out the other stories.

The sparks between Ethan and Syrene are palpable. I loved that. I could feel the love. He’s ready to sacrifice himself for her. I liked that he was her connection to the light part of the world–the human side. And when they get together, it’s hot.

I do have to say there were parts that might make sense if I’d read the other stories and I do hope there are more about these characters. It was a short story and I’d love more!

If you’re looking for a short story with vampires and love, then this is the one for you.

Cross My Heart by Aliyah Burke


Cross My Heart by Aliyah Burke
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

One night together can lead to forever…

Rash decisions had not really ever been her thing, until one night in a bar with her brothers had Cynzia Cassano irritated enough to kiss the next guy walking through the door. Little does she know that he is going change her life.

Lucas Hoch is out with his best friends when a woman that knocks his world on its axis kisses him. Unable to forget her, he follows and takes the night with her she offers. It will never be enough. She is gone when he wakes and he will scour the earth to find her again.

When their paths do cross once more, as much as he wants to keep her, she is a woman with her own strong mind and life to live. Will there be room in their lives for each other?

When the sparks fly, Cyn and Lucas have no choice but to comply.

This story happens fast. I like the books of Aliyah Burke and had to snap this one up when I saw it. I’m glad I did. It’s truly fast-paced, though.

Cyn kisses Lucas and sends them both into a tailspin. She disappears and he wants to see her again. They do meet again, and the sparks fly all over the place. It’s easy to see they’re attracted.

I do have to admit there were times when the story moved so fast, I couldn’t keep it all straight. I have some questions and felt some spots needed to be fleshed out more, but it’s a novella, and there’s only so much room in those stories.

If you’re looking for an action-packed story with sparks, then this might be the one for you. Check it out.

Call It Love by Kristian Parker


Call It Love by Kristian Parker
Speak Its Name, book 2
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Historical, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Charlie didn’t believe in love…until he set himself free.

It’s 1922 and after his house guest Frank Harris ran away with the under-butler, Charlie Fitzwilliam has been summoned to face the music. With the vindictive butler Bennett now watching his every move and his father planning out his life for him, Charlie finally faces up to who he is and makes a bid for freedom.

Alone for the first time in his life, he meets Michael Leonard, a kind, caring bookseller. Convinced that sex with men is only for fun, Charlie experiences a summer of self-discovery that takes him to the English seaside, the doorstep of old friends and the arms of a lover who shakes his whole belief system.

But disowned by his parents and cut off from the life he knew, can Charlie make a future for himself…and will Michael be a part of it? Is this affair something that can be called love?

Love, discovery and acceptance. Everyone needs these and Charlie’s determined to find them all.

Once I discovered the books of Kristian Parker, I was hooked. This book was no different. I loved every page. Yes, there were times when the characters weren’t always the best, but there were reasons, and I couldn’t put this book down. It’s hard to find good historical LGBTQ romance and this one fit my bill.

Charlie’s living in a time when sex with men isn’t accepted. He knows who he loves but hasn’t found the one. He’s tired of allowing others to determine the course of his life, too. I liked Charlie, even when he could be a spoiled brat. He’s a bit young and immature, but it added to his character. It made him unique and showed his growth through the book. Then there’s Michael. He knows what he wants, too, and he’s not afraid to get it. He’s also not afraid to give Charlie the what-for. Charlie needed to be reined in a bit and Michael’s a good other half. I liked the pairing of them.

If you’re looking for a novella that’s packed with characters, story and romance, then this is the one for you. Give it a try.

(Un)Loved by Katy Hunter


(Un)Loved by Katy Hunter
Mixed Emotions, Book 1
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Falling in love with Gil was never Sophie’s plan, but the French mountain air, the grumpiest llama ever and her boyfriend’s loving—if liberated— family might just change her mind.

Sophie Smith—actress, influencer, in a close personal relationship with her blender— finds herself on a French mountain with a grumpy llama, a boyfriend with a bad case of commitment phobia and his sexually liberated parents.

In between getting chased around the farm by angry goats, dealing with his beautiful ex-girlfriend and fending off a Frenchman, she’s also having an existential crisis.

All she needs to do is get her boyfriend to stop quivering in fear at the L word, teach that llama to snuggle and work out what she actually wants to do with her life, then everything will be fine. Right?

Sometimes love isn’t enough, but what if it is?

I love the work of Katy Hunter and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m glad I did. This was a great premise for a story and there’s a llama. I mean, that’s original–a grumpy llama! I breezed through this story and did root for the characters to find their happy ending.

Sophie is a bit of a mess. She wants her boyfriend to admit he loves her and he’s not ready. There’s the glare of the spotlight and the glitz of Hollywood in the way, too. It’s not the easiest way to keep a relationship going. She’s relatable, but her push-pull with Gil could be a bit over the top. Then there’s Gil. He’s not sure he’s ready to admit he loves her, and he’s scared of strong commitment. He’s very relatable, too. It’s hard to be in a relationship where your every move is scrutinized. But these are two younger characters, and their immaturity does show through. That’s not always a bad thing, but it’s something to mention.

The romance sizzles and the connection does shine through. If you’re looking for a book for the modern era, a romance for the current times, then this is the one you’re looking for. Check it out!

Six Weeks by Nan Comargue


Six Weeks by Nan Comargue
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Jaya’s relationships never last more than six weeks. Austen wants to be her forever.

Six weeks is the outer limit for one of Jaya’s relationships. When men find out there is no future with her, they tend not to stick around for long.

She’s gotten into the habit of leaning on her cousin Austen to get over each breakup. Who better? Austen is six feet three of solid sympathy. Both adopted into the same extended family at young ages, they’ve been friends their whole lives, with a mutual taste for good food and expensive whisky. But when Jaya takes her latest failed romance to him, Austen makes it clear his interest in her is far from cousinly.

“Think about me,” Austen tells her, and Jaya starts to do just that. No doubt, Austen is incredibly attractive, and she can’t say she’s not curious to find out what he’s like in bed, but can their bond survive this new test?

Why not Austen?

I love the work of Nan Comargue and this book was no different. The second I picked it up, I was immersed in Jaya and Austen’s world. The writing flew along at a great pace and the characters are interesting. I loved it.

Jaya tends to lose people through no fault of her own and her issues with that tend to color her relationships. She needs comfort and stable. She needs someone who won’t leave and won’t give up. She’s relatable because she’s someone you could know. I know people like her and I felt for her. Then there’s Austen. He’s the quintessential romance hero. He’s there, he’s understanding and he’s solid. He’s the one Jaya should love. But they were adopted and are cousins, but not by blood. That’s a complication that could make or break the relationship.

I loved seeing these characters, who were already close, get closer and find their common ground. It’s sweet, hot and great.

If you’re looking for a book that’s not your standard romance, has relatable characters and is so much fun to read, then this is the book for you.

Uncovered by Noja Lina


Uncovered by Noja Lina
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

People keep themselves covered in many ways. But, sometimes, it’s not possible—and someone’s looking.

Jake postpones buying curtains for his new apartment. At one point, he notices that a man from the building across keeps watching him every morning. Jake then confronts the guy, whom he considers a stalker.

Thomas is not actually a stalker and is put off by Jake’s aggressive tendencies. Even so, they continue interacting and a bond starts forming. Jake develops romantic interest in Thomas but refuses to admit it and struggles with getting them to be closer. Along the way, he discovers that Thomas hates aggression because he had dealt with domestic violence in his past.

They both need to overcome their respective fears and change. Will they succeed—or fail and fall apart?

So nuanced and layered, but real.

When I picked up this book, I wasn’t sure what I’d be getting. The blurb drew me in and I had to know more. I mean, these two guys seemed so wrong for each other, but it’s so right. I liked the dynamics of the characters and how they found their way. This wasn’t a light story. It’s complicated and can be messy. But that’s what’s great about it. This book reads like life.

Jake doesn’t like being stared at by the guy across the way. The discomfort of being stared at isn’t his idea of fun so he does something about it. As with life, this isn’t the best way to handle the situation. Thomas doesn’t like aggressive men. He’s fascinated by Jake, but he’s also put off, too. When Jack confronts him, the behavior freaks him out and he’s not wild about aggressive people.

These two men are layered and complicated…and as I said, messy. They’ve got their hang-ups and it’s like reading life. It’s like reading about people I knew, and I could relate to them. That’s what made this book for me. Can they change? Adapt? Make this work? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

I’m going to look for more by this author because this book snagged me. I suggest you try it, too.

A Valentine to Die For by Aver Rigsly


A Valentine to Die For by Aver Rigsly
Noir Nights, Book 1
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Having a secret admirer can be deadly.

Ricky Morris, private investigator on New York’s elite Upper East Side, has forged a shady yet profitable life as a gumshoe for wealthy Manhattanites after burning the bridge to his law enforcement past. When women in the city are targeted by a sweet-toothed murderer in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, the last thing Ricky expects is to be hired by the younger brother of the man who ruined his life.

Timothy Ward, young, fresh patrolman for the N.Y.P.D. who never thought he’d have to step outside the law, finds himself in desperate need of Ricky’s help when he fears his brother, James Ward, the Deputy Chief, could be behind the murdering spree.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, both men will have to work in the shadows, putting their careers and lives on the line to get to the bottom of the murderer’s sickly sweet and cruel plans. That is, if the burning heat of the undeniable—and very forbidden—lust between them doesn’t consume them in the flames of reckless desire first..

A very cool book with two hot men.

I loved the feel of this book. It really did feel like I was reading a noir that I could’ve been watching, too. The atmosphere was so on point. Aver Rigsly has written a compelling mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The story plugged along well, and I couldn’t get enough. Plus, the mystery is great and had me guessing all the way through.

I liked the characters of Ricky and Timothy. They’ve got great chemistry and I loved seeing them together. This felt like I was immersed in their world, and I rooted for them to get together. I can’t wait to read more about these guys.

If you’re looking for a book that’s smart, sexy, sassy and encapsulates the era, then this is the one for you. Try it!