“The Nymph King” by Gena Showalter (review)

The Nymph King Book Cover The Nymph King
The Atlantis Series
Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance
January 30, 2007
Purchased Copy

Females young and old, beautiful and plain crave Valerian's touch. None can resist his blatant sensuality and potent allure…until he steals Shaye Holling from a Florida beach and holds her prisoner in his underwater kingdom.

The cynical Shaye wants nothing to do with the mighty warlord, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. For underneath the warrior's arrogant beauty lies a complex and powerful man. A man whose caress is like fire…

Now Valerian must fight for the privilege of claiming her as his own. Because there's one thing Shaye doesn't know.…

That when a nymph discovers his true mate, she's his for life.

The Nymph King: Serial Kidnapper?

I thought kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome wasn’t meant to be hot.

A mythical king from the sea kidnaps human women to replace the lack of women in his home world. It’s okay because the women are willing to go (under his “I’m a sexy nymph” allure). Mmm, this doesn’t put me at ease.

When I first read these parts, I had to go through this entire book. I had to see what Gena Showalter had to tell in The Nymph King.



Valerian, King of the Nymphs, has two problems: the nymph women had disappeared, and his army’s weak after battling the dragon shifters. As nymphs, they needed sex to survive. Sex helps them regain their energy and heal their injuries.

Valerian’s only option is to take women from the surface world. He and his men venture into a Florida beach and crash a beachside wedding. Isn’t that swell?

It doesn’t matter to Valerian if he’s invading a sacred ceremony or not. As long he gets his women.

Enter Shaye Holling

Shaye Holling would be anywhere but her mother’s millionth wedding (only fifth). Shaye’s the pessimistic romantic protagonist. She had dating problems in the past and trouble with creepy men from her mother’s past marriages. This leads Shaye to a full-time career in making anti-Valentine’s Day cards (no, seriously). Her beliefs on love are about to change when she is taken to Atlantis to be Valerian’s queen.

The other women brought along have instantly fallen for their nymph mates. Shaye, not so much. All she wants to do is get the hell out of Atlantis. She develops feelings for her kidnapper, King Valerian. Her internal struggle fills a quarter of the book.

Showalter’s World

Showalter’s Atlantis is what attracted me to reading The Nymph King. You have romance and a legendary lost underwater city in the mix? Perfect! Not only do nymphs live in this realm, but centaurs, vampires, mermaids, and the infamous dragon shifters too.

I liked Showalter’s imagination with this world. It’s part of what made me remain with this book.


I have to admit: Valerian and Shaye grew on me. The characters had their ridiculous moments, but I appreciated how they ended up together. Valerian didn’t have to use his sexy nymph powers to get Shaye; he used his heart. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

In the beginning, you’ll read this book, and roll your eyes at the early scenes. It gets better when Shaye’s in Atlantis. Plus, the nymphs have to take on the dragon shifters who want to reclaim their Atlantean throne. A lot is going on.

Oh yeah, Poseidon’s involved too. I believe he’s there only to shake things up.

The Nymph King isn’t the most amazing romance novel in the world, but it still gets you through. The characters are likable, and the paranormal elements keep you tuned in. At least,  it did for me.

Honestly, I wished there was one scene where Shaye explained in detail to Valerian is not okay to kidnap women just because his soldiers are horny and dying.


Like book reviews? Don’t miss these:



Leave a Reply