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The Nymph King    by Gena Showalter order for
Nymph King
by Gena Showalter
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Shaye Holling has no use for true love or the concept of falling head over heels - the fact that her mother has wed and divorced half a dozen times (while looking for happiness and the man of her dreams) is proof positive that falling in love is a waste of time and energy. Shaye has refined the art of keeping people - men in particular - at bay with her caustic tongue and loner attitude. That is, until mythical warriors rise from the sea and invade the Florida beach, where Shaye is attending the lavish reception of her mother's most recent nuptials.

Valarian, King of the Nymphs, is on a mission to secure women and take them back to Atlantis to ensure that those of his long-lived bloodline and unique physiology regain and maintain their vigor. Stealing human women and allowing them entrance to Atlantis defies Poseidon's laws, but Valarian is prepared to face the sea god's wrath rather than allow his armies to weaken, and risk Atlantis being invaded by the Nymphs' sworn enemies, the Dragons. From the moment the King sets eyes on the defiant Shaye, he knows that after centuries of searching, he has found his mate for all eternity. But the overly-confident king soon realizes that whisking her away to Atlantis was the easy part compared to convincing the sharp-tongued beauty (and various of Valarian's own warriors who also want to lay claim to the human female) that he and Shaye are destined to be together.

Showalter's stories are generally light-hearted, breezy reads and The Nymph King is no exception. The author turns myth and fable on its ear, asking readers to imagine nymphs as sexy, muscle bound warriors whose sole purpose is making love and war. They certainly spend a lot of time fantasizing about, and participating in, the making love part - made all the easier by their ability to mentally ensorcel women. Shaye works hard to resist, forcing Valarian to work much harder at winning her trust and her love. Readers who enjoy quick, sexy stories set in a nicely imagined undersea realm will enjoy The Nymph King - those looking for a bit more plot and character development may find this isn't their cup of ambrosia.

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