I hate to admit that I became lost in a series, but I did. I really did. I received a copy from the publisher of Danica Winters' Winter Swans, the third book in her Nymph series, and just had a feeling that I should read the first two books as well. Ms. Winters was gracious and kind enough to share the first two books with me and then I became lost as I began to read…
The Nymph's Labyrinth, is set in Crete as in Winters story the nymphs were at home there near the Palace of Knossos until Zeus went looking for some extra-marital time with the nymph leader. Disaster followed her refusal of the god and Knossos and knowledge of the nymphs vanished.
Fast forward to the present day and we find out that nymphs still inhabit Crete and have some very special gifts. They can seduce men - really any man - and shape shift into snakes. What is a nymph to do when Beau, an archaeologist, wants to dig where a relic of the nymphs is buried. Can she stop him? And what about the curse that Zeus delivered to the nymphs that if a mortal falls in love with them the mortal will die?
Wow! As someone who's always been fascinated by the history of Knossos, the labyrinth, Theseus and Ariadne (who just happens to be the nymph/heroine of this novel) - I was in seventh heaven. Winters delivers a fresh new take on a ancient story in a paranormal romance that I didn't want to put down. Visions of bull dancers, minotaurs, and angry gods filled my dreams. I won't give away the plot, but would advise that you start reading the series with this book.
Montana Mustangs, takes us as far from Crete as could be as the chapter opens in the wild country of Montana. This time the nymph is Aura, a U.S.-based nymph who takes the form of a wild horse instead of a snake, but still has the quality of seduction of any and all males.
Dane, a very sexy cowboy/policeman interrogates her upon her discovery of a severed hand in a lake. Trouble seems to follow her as she confronts a ranch owner over the mistreatment of a horse (she can speak to animals as her special gift) and also finds some dead bodies of fellow nymphs. Soon she and the sexy detective are heating up the pages as she continues to search for her missing sister as well as trying to discover who's targeting her fellow nymphs and why.
Along the way they have to deal with some mean ranchers, a jealous detective, and find a way to conquer the curse of the nymphs. I was flipping those pages like crazy to find out what would transpire.
Winter Swans, opens with a funeral of one of the nymphs found murdered in Montana. Harper, the deceased nymph's sister, is beseeched over the coffin by a fellow swan shifter nymph to find a man in a photograph. Harper sees him on her television set in an ad for a poker game, searches him out, and soon they are heating up my Kindle too.
Chance finds himself to be a father of a half-nymph daughter that he didn't know existed for 17 years and soon, both he and Harper are involved in searching out the murderer of his ex-wife. Along the way they have to deal with teenage and nymph issues of his daughter, irate loan sharks, some gambles that might not pay off, and pharmaceuticals that may or may not be legal.
This series by Winters is highly inventive and she has created a very believable paranormal world of nymphs, demigods, and other shifters. I highly, highly recommend that you purchase all three books to read. Although you could read them as stand-alone novels it's just more interesting if you are informed by what has transpired in the previous books as recurring characters are woven in throughout the series.
I'm now looking forward to the next book in the series, which I hope will follow Chance's daughter as she searches for answers to questions raised by her mother's death and her need for pharmaceutical help.
Do read this series, but make sure you plan to do so over a weekend or when you can be assured you have plenty of time set aside as you're not going to want to put these books down once you start.
From the Publisher
The Nymph Series Book One
The Nymph's Labyrinth by Danica Winters
A world shrouded in mystery and intrigue, the Sisterhood of Epione must not be exposed.
Shape-shifting nymph Ariadne Papadakis is tasked with keeping the truth of the group’s existence and their ancient mysteries far out of reach of the American archeologist, Beau Morris and his troublemaking son, Kaden. When forgotten and forbidden passions are awakened, Ariadne is forced make a choice - fall in line and continue to be overrun and pushed down by the sisterhood, or follow her heart and put Beau and Kaden’s lives in danger.
Can she have the man she loves or will the pressure and secrets of her past keep her from her heart’s desire?
The Nymph Series Book Two
Montana Mustangs by Danica Winters
A nymph: a woman with the ability to seduce at will, shift to protect, but cursed with the fate to have the man she falls in love with die a tragic death. As one of these ill-fated nymphs, Aura Montgarten has spent her lifetime drifting from one place to another hiding from love. Until she meets Dane.
When a body washes up on the shore of a rural Montana lake, police officer Dane Burke is faced with the task of finding the killer - even if it means he will be forced to put his life and heart at risk by working with a drifter. As the truth of Aura’s Mustang-shifting nymph ways are revealed, Dane learns exactly the amount of danger he and Aura are in, but can’t force himself to leave a case unsolved when the truth is just outside his grasp.
When the killer decides he needs to take another victim - Dane - Aura must choose between their forbidden love and her immortal life. Can there be life without love or is death her only choice?
The Nymph Series Book Three
Winter Swans by Danica Winters
A curse that forbids her to love . . . A child that he must keep secret…An attack on the culture she holds dear…And a battle that could get them killed . . .
Single dad and professional poker player, Chance Landon, hates the world after his ex-wife is found dead in a cheap apartment in rural Idaho. On a lone-wolf crusade to find the killer, he instead learns that he is the father of a strange little girl who carries secrets that only a woman like his ex-wife can answer.
When his ex-wife’s killer learns about his daughter’s abilities and decides to come after the young girl, Chance enlists the help of the beautiful and deadly swan-shifting nymph, Harper Cygnini, who helps to teach him the truth of his daughter’s condition. Chance soon realizes that he alone can’t save his daughter from the sadistic killer and he finds himself in a battle between his head and his heart. Will Chance gamble on a future that involves falling in love - which may well cost him his life - or is that one bet his is unwilling to take?