Sunday, May 28, 2017

An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci & A.J. Marcus

Darius has just retired as a police officer and opened his PI business. He expects to help people and continue the exciting life he had while on the force, but most of his cases center around cheating spouses. That is until a young boy comes into his office one afternoon.

Parker insists that his parents are missing, and not believing him, Darius calls the people on the boy’s phone to find one who is willing to pick him up. Rick, a family friend, comes to get him. As a thank you for watching over Parker, Rick invites Darius to his house for dinner. Their connection is instant, but their romantic night together becomes complicated when men break into Rick’s house and start shooting.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I have to say that I've read a few books by Caitlin Ricci and this one was just as good as the others I've read. I will say though that because it is so short, the romance seems rushed, the plot was rushed, and we just simply didn't have time to really get into the drama that unfolded or the sweet romance.

However, I did like the plot. It was unique and fun and interesting. Just rushed. I would love to see this story drawn out into a full-length story where things can be slowed a bit and we get more into the various aspects of the story.

There was so much going on in such few pages, that my head was spinning. I normally don't read books with so few pages and this is why. Too much happening, not enough connection with the characters. I will say though there was one hot sex scene. This book would have been better if it was longer so I could have made a connection with the main characters and if they didn't jump so fast to hurry up and end.

Caitlin Ricci

Caitlin is the author of over 150 LGBTQ romance books including two Rainbow Award winners. While most of her books include shifters, she does write a little of everything. She was first published in 2012 and since then hasn't stopped writing. When she's not writing she enjoys gardening, hanging out with her dogs, and watching movies with her husband. She is a panromantic asexual and she lives in Centennial, Colorado.

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A.J. Marcus

A.J. has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people. He lives in the mountains with his extremely supportive husband. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, trail riding, or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer. Don’t get him started talking about his birds, because he won’t stop for a while.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci & A.J. Marcus to read and review.

Falling for Him by CL Mustafic

Doctor Gavin Addison’s marriage didn’t end on the friendliest of terms, and his estranged wife’s continual harassment has the local police visiting his home so often they’ve started calling him “the doc.” One of those cops, Officer Lex Turner, has a crush on the handsome doc, even though he knows there’s no chance the doc would ever consider dating a man.

A chance encounter on a crowded dance floor ends with both men in the same bed with the same woman—but with questionable results. When the doc wants to try that again, Lex becomes more involved than he’d dreamed possible as he helps his new friend navigate the kinkier side of sex. Knowing it’s just sex for Gavin, Lex finds it hard to keep his feelings hidden. But when Gavin finally figures out he has feelings for Lex that go beyond what a guy should feel for his buddy, will he let Lex convince him to take a chance with him—even if it turns both their lives upside down?

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4 1/2 stars

I really enjoyed this story. It started out kind of rocky for me, but I once I got into it, I didn't want to put it down. I loved Lex and Doc/Gavin. I thought Lex was so patient and understanding with Doc when most people would have given up. Doc, in some ways, was very childlike, his parents didn't seem like they were parents of the year and his ex-wife was a total nut case. The things Doc's ex-wife did would have landed me in jail because I would have killed her. The sex scenes were good, some hotter than others, there was M/F/M in this book, so if you don't like that you are forewarned. I loved Lex's mother and then Riley and Sheila, they are super great friends. The chemistry with Lex and Doc was good and their relationship progression was believable. I laughed and I cried while reading this book and I will be putting it in my "read again" pile.

This is quite a quirky read – with some really off the wall elements. At its heart is a really rather lovely romance, which develops in a nonlinear fashion and makes you think about the choices that life gives you and the ones that you unconsciously avoid.

Most of the scenes with Gavin and Lex, I enjoyed. Their relationship starts in a pretty unconventional manner – certainly not one I have read before in an MM storyline, and seemingly used more to indicate mental state than physical choice. But the guys are cute together, even if they fail to tell each other some of the basics – part of this I allowed to pass, as they are new friends, but sometimes I wanted to remind them how to communicate.

When everyone else got involved, it got confusing. I think Riley was the oddest to place – if I had not been told he was a doctor, I would have never, ever guessed. He was seriously immature, and only toned down by his wife. That said, they were supportive during the mad incidents caused by his ex-wife – who surely needed to be declared mentally unstable at the first act, let alone the fifth, tenth, etc. And let's not get started on Gavin's mother...

I have a weird feeling that this would work better on the screen than the page – with some dialogue issues resolved. It think it had a very visual sense of humour, and nuance could have been gained by seeing what they were doing, rather than just reading about it (and I am thinking of the non-sexual content!).

CL Mustafic is a new-to-me author. I was completely captured by the blurb, curiosity getting the better of me, and I couldn't wait to read Falling for Him.

Gavin is struggling during a bitter divorce battle, but it's not the battle itself that's the problem. His cheating wife of 10 years is stalking him, vandalizing property, and defaming his character. The doctor is doing all he can, calling the police and noting what has occurred and when, to create a timeline. But it's not enough. The police can't seem to have enough evidence to arrest the wife.

***Still confused at the start how a person couldn't be arrested for stalking/vandalism/received half the value of a home they didn't own after cheating on their spouse. There were security cameras in the hospital, but the detectives were too defective to check them to tie the ex to the slander, which is a civil case but would have influenced the divorce... just saying none of this added up. While it propelled the plot, it was unrealistic, illogical, and over the top. SMH. An educated doctor was too dim to change the locks on his own home to protect it after months of harassment? The maturity levels and behavior didn't match the age/profession/speech patterns. Gavin's actions/reactions didn't fit the character trait profile.

In walks in Lex – Officer Turner is a bisexual man, who's both intrigued by the good doctor and feeling empathetic to his plight. He's trying to pin the crimes on the guy's ex, all the while trying to get into his pants. Maybe if he tried harder at his job, above wouldn't make them all look inept.

For those who don't wish to read girly bits in their MM romance, be forewarned. There are ménage scenes featuring MFM. That's my thing, but it might not be something you enjoy.

The guys were fun together, the romance light, but the frustration of the too many plots was too much for me. I was frustrated most of the time I was reading as it pinged all of my major pet peeves.

The premise of Falling for Him was great. However, the execution wasn't to my tastes. The flow of the writing was wooden, too proper and polite to flow fluidly or sound realistic. Maybe it was the perspective it was written in, or how the dialogue would either be too proper or too juvenile (Riley, A DOCTOR, spoke like a middle school boy), which had a whiplash effect on me, because in a sea of proper and polite, the locker-room-esque talk glared from the pages. This made it very difficult for me to fall into Falling for Him, because it pulled me from the story.

I will not apologize for my following commentary. As a feminist, a pet peeve of mine was on the pages – the way all women were portrayed. A mentally unstable, clingy mother. Homophobic mother. Even the best friend's wife was overbearing. A crazy, cheating, abusive, criminal ex-wife who gets away with it. A threesome partner, who after-the-fact acted like a total nutjob (he had to buy her flowers and apologize? WHAT?) when during the scene itself, no one seemed to be uncomfortable, not into it, or acting insulted. This also was jarring for me to read. As a female, I don't wish to be insulted on most pages of a novel. Yes, there are women who behave like that – BUT it shouldn't be every negative stereotype displayed by ALL the women in the novel, to hit home how we are inferior as a gender and explain away why two bi characters fall for each other. Gavin and Lex can lust/love each other because they do, as it has no bearing with who they do/don't lust/love, so I don't see why it always has to be at the expense and disrespect to females. Women are so crazy and clingy, I'm going to date men – no, you date men because you date men.

Thankfully, this storyline just dissolved into the background, so it was no longer a focal point to rub me raw, leaving room for the guys to come together.

Moving forward into their relationship, another pet peeve of mine hit: MISCOMMUNICATION. A cop and a doctor, both professionals who rely on communication to do their jobs, both older, one married for 10+ years, I find it incomprehensible why they didn't just communicate. This was not a suitable plot device for these characters.

There was just too much going on, and it was at the expense of the entertainment factor for me – seemed unfocused and chaotic. To be honest, I was rubbed wrong and frustrated for the entirety of the read. I was obviously not the intended audience. MM romance readers, who don't mind lady bits in their MM, will probably enjoy the story, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

CL Mustafic is a born and bred American Midwesterner who mysteriously ended up living in one of those countries nobody can ever find on the map of Europe. Left with too much time on her hands—let’s be honest here—it was the lack of television channels in her native language and too many voices in her head trying to fill the silence that led her to decide to give her lifelong dream of writing a novel a shot. So now, between shuttling kids back and forth from various activities and risking her life on the insanely narrow, busy streets of her new hometown, she loses herself in her own made-up world where love always wins.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Falling for Him by CL Mustafic to read and review.

True Colors by Anyta Sunday

Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.

But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.

Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.

Afraid of falling in love.

Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?

True Colors is an enemies to lovers, boy next door, first time, slow burn M/M romance with a generous helping of UST. This no-cliffhanger, HEA book can be read as a standalone

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Amazing Stars.

I don't know where to begin with my review, other than fangirl for several paragraphs. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I'm not a gushing type reviewer. True Colors hit every note I need in an emotionally gut-twisting read. I've always found something special with Anyta Sunday's writing. I'm not a huge rereader when it comes to contemporary romance, but now two of this author's books are added to that list: Rock and True Colors.

Marco is our narrator, telling us a story that bridges nearly a decade. At twelve, Marco's favorite person on earth is Oskar, his neighbor and best friend. A tragic event changes all of that, when guilt and shame take over Marco's life.

The beginning portion of True Colors sets up the entirety of the book, featuring scenes from when Marco is twelve and his mother is still alive, showcasing the making of the play that will be the foundation of everyone coming back together.

Marco feels betrayed over words Oskar voiced when they were teenagers. Having already lost his mother, and Oskar breaking his trust, Marco doesn't have the ability to allow people in. He has friends, but he keeps them at arm's length, never opening up. He's scarred from the tragedy that took his mother away, so he refuses to get close to guys, even for a biological need.

Returning home from college, Oskar is everywhere in Marco's life, refusing to back off, forcing Marco to deal with the past. Their meddling neighbor families refuse to allow the animosity to remain.

True Colors was sweet, heartfelt – real. The angst caused that gut-twisting sensation to happen to me over and over, a sensation I look for when reading a novel. I laughed, smiled, got teary-eyed, and felt utterly satisfied at the end of the novel.

True Colors was a beautiful story I plan on revisiting in the future... I see this is book two – I interrupt this gush-fest to go locate book one.

This is a beautiful story. At its most simple, it is a very damaged young man’s coming of age story. It is also the story of the life-long relationship between two young men. At its most complex, this book explores grief and betrayal, intimacy and desire. It is a story about self, family, and community.

The writing is sparse. Marcus tells his story in a disjointed, non-linear series of memories and moments. The writer forces readers to pull Marcus’ story together for themselves – but we fully understand Marcus’ past at the very moment he starts to understand his present.

Even though Marcus is a university student, there is young adult feel to this story. He is still tied tightly to his family and his community. Incidents in his past have left him scarred, but they have also left him very innocent in many ways.

The author offers very little to create a sense of place. In many ways, the other characters provide the backdrop for this story of Marcus’ emotional growth. And the characters in this story are wonderful.

This book is a deliberate puzzle and it is almost impossible to discuss it without giving too much away. I loved it. I loved the unique writing style. I enjoyed the unconventional structure and I fell in love with so many of the characters. It is an honest story. The emotions in this book are raw and real. I know that this will tug at my heart and my mind for quite some time.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Hmm, this is a very emotional story. It really is about two boys' friendship and the trials and tribulations that come with growing up. Can you really trust your family? Community?

I loved the secondary characters because they helped shape the story between Marco and Oskar. This is a story that is told in stages. You have to be willing to put some of the pieces together – it's not told in a straight fashion, but rather flashback and pieces.

While I did enjoy the story, I did find that there was a lot of back and forth but without substance. There was a lot of talk, without saying too much.

This is a fairly straight forward story – friends, enemies, confused, friends. While there are some people in the story who are less than helpful to both Marco and Oskar, I think that the accepting characters more than make up for it.

You can't really say too much without giving the story away, but this was a coming of age, discovering what's important, forgiveness at its most basic form, and about learning to love yourself.

A born and raised New Zealander, Anyta Sunday has been exploring the literary world since she started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Inspired, stories have been piling up in her head ever since. Fast forward to her mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), and she started putting pen to paper. When she’s not writing or chasing her kids around, she’s reading, hiking, watching a Joss Whedon series, attempting Pilates, or curling up with her two cats.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of True Colors (True Love #2) by Anyta Sunday to read and review.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Sweetheart Kiss by Cheryl Ann Smith

Jess Lucas works hard at the all-female PI firm Brash & Brazen, and after a brush with death, she’s determined to play hard too—preferably with a certain detective on the Ann Arbor police force...

Jess was stuck at a frenemy’s wedding, playing bridesmaid in a mustard-yellow monstrosity, when chaos erupted. First the bride’s ex tried to stop the wedding. Then someone really put a damper on the big day by sending a bullet through a stained glass window and into one of the groomsmen. At least her ugly dress came in handy to stop the bleeding...

While the poor guy is rushed to the ER, Jess gets grilled by a gorgeous cop who’s not thrilled to learn she’s part PI and part pit bull. But he has to admit she’s highly observant... and he observes that she’s pretty hot, too.

The thing is, Jess was walking up the same aisle as the victim, and Sam suspects she was the real target. It’s more than professional duty that makes him want to protect her—if he doesn’t arrest her first for interfering in his investigation...

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the third in the series, and is just as good as the previous two! I would definitely recommend that you read them all, and whilst this could be a standalone, it is much better when read in order. This Charlie's Angel-like group of women are just so much fun.

The setup for this story with Jess in a truly awful bridesmaid dress in a wedding where she doesn't even want to be, then the guy in front of her gets shot, is just the start of the crazy. Lucky for Jess (and for Sam), Sam works out that she is the one who needs protection and takes it upon himself to do just that – in fact, they can hardly peel themselves off each other. The mystery is worth a read, let alone the super-hot romance in the making.

For a really good fun and sexy read, pick up this book and enjoy. Thanks for another great installment, Ms. Smith.

Also Available in the Brash & Brazen Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our The Sweetheart Racket post.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our The Sweetheart Game post.

A fan of romance fiction since the dark ages, Cheryl Ann Smith loves to throw her heroines into danger, just to see what they’ll do. She’s currently working on an exciting new contemporary romance series that mixes her crazy sense of humor with the adventures of a trio of female PIs who are the kick-ass heroines Cheryl has always wanted to be.

Cheryl lives in Michigan with her family, and when she isn’t writing, she dreams of living in a grass hut on her own tropical island. Since that’s unlikely to happen, she looks forward to any vacation that gets her near an ocean.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Sweetheart Kiss (Brash & Brazen #3) by Cheryl Ann Smith to read and review.

Coming In by Michelle Ogilvy

Jay and Adam have been sharing a flat, and a bed, since they moved down to Adelaide after high school a couple of years ago. Neither man considers himself gay or mentions the sexual nature of their friendship to anyone else.

Their arrangement doesn’t stop Jay from casually dating random women he meets through work and both men seem happy with the way things are. That is, until Adam meets April, a damsel in distress that latches herself onto Adam in a way that he doesn’t mind at all. Jay sure does, though.

As Adam gets closer to April, the friendship between the two men starts to unravel and for the first time in years, Jay is facing a life without Adam. If he wants to save their friendship, he will have to offer Adam a lot more than a spot in his bed. There’s only one problem, Jay doesn’t believe in love.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Bi Romance

Adam and Jay have been best friends for years. They moved together in order to stay close. Both are not necessarily living their dream, but they are surviving.

Adam meets April accidentally – she uses him and has a slightly strange pathology. She is a user and is not afraid to use people to get where she wants. She is struggling with her own family situation and because of that, she latches on and doesn't really let go. Is it love? I'm still not sure. I think it's more a relationship of convenience.

Adam doesn't really know how to handle the relationship with April – he also doesn't know what to do with his changing relationship with Jay. He is not happy with his current school situation – he feels like he has no life. He also has a family that doesn't really understand him nor are they very supportive.

Jay is just struggling with life in general. He has women and men in his bed, but deep in his heart, he loves Adam. When both of them struggle to find a way through the current situation, they both fumble. Jay and Adam are super young and still figuring out how to be adults.

Overall, this story had a lot packed in to it and in the end, it all smooths out, but I felt that the family situations were not really concluded well. I was left thinking what happened to the family and were they were ever able to resolve those issues.

Michelle Ogilvy was born and bred in Adelaide, Australia. In primary school, to alleviate the boredom of putting spelling list words in sentences to explain their meaning, she started weaving them all into stories. She hasn’t been able to shake this writing thing ever since.

Her day job involves working on health data collection tools, which resulted in her first publication, in a medical journal. For about a year, she worked as an editor for the department, but eventually she realised that her writing at home was enough time spent alone concentrating on words on a computer screen and she went back to her old job. It’s still a lot of time spent staring at a computer, but there’s at least more interaction with actual humans.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Coming In by Michelle Ogilvy to read and review.

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

For those mortals wanting to get up close and personal with the beautiful undead, there's...


Silver Harris is done with clingy men—maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year's Eve, she decides maybe it's human men she's done with. Silver turns to the popular vampire dating site, V-Date. When the undead gentlemen come calling, soon she's in over her head. And her mysterious hottie is nowhere to be found...

Logan Byrne can't get that sassy redhead out of his head—or that kiss! When his boss assigns him to spy on V-Date members, he meets Silver again. Turns out, the police are recruiting humans to snitch on vampires through the dating site. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan grow deep. Logan isn't sure he can go through with his mission to make Silver forget everything she knows about vampires...and betray her.

But in the tight-knit London community of centuries-old vampires, history and grudges run deep and dating the undead can be risky business.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

It's been ages since I've read any Urban Fantasy books, but the title and blurb of Dating the Undead drew me in and I wanted to give it a try.

Silver Harris is a single woman and jewelry clerk living in London. She lives in a flat with an old Hollywood film star for a roommate. At a New Year’s party with her boyfriend, she finds him making out with another woman and causes a scene. Being kicked out of the party in a hasty retreat, she bumps into Logan. Vampires are out and proud in London and Silver can’t believe she just bumped into one, not only that, he's HOT! The two spark up a conversation and end the evening with a steamy but mostly chaste kiss. Silver can’t believe she can’t quit thinking about a vampire, and Logan finally feels SOMETHING in his still heart for Silver. Thinking that maybe vampires are the way to date, Silver gets onto a vampire dating site called V-date, but it's really just one vampire that has her real interest.

There's a plot twist in there as Silver has always wondered what happened in the mysterious disappearance of her mother many years ago and finds it could be vampire related. There's a good amount of suspense and action that kept the book rolling really well. I enjoyed the story and the snarky heroine, Silver. Logan and Silver had some pretty good steam and the ending was a good one. Really enjoyed the premise!

3.5 stars

Juliet Lyons is a new-to-me author.

Dating the Undead was an enjoyable, humorous, quick read. It was the perfect way to find a slice of entertainment for a few hours and uplift my mood. I'm not a fan of humorous books, to be honest, but this was written in a way that it felt natural instead of the slapstick, over-the-top, forced comedy that has me shying away from most books with a humor tag. Lyons did an excellent job with the levity, changing my mind on giving other books a chance that include humor.

Silver was a fun character, modern and independent, but just as insecure as she is confident, making it easy for most women to identify with her. She didn't take herself too seriously, just rolling with it. After having a horrible time dating humans, she creates a profile on a vampire/human dating app, wanting to give the vampers a try after meeting Logan on the street outside of a party.

I loved the beginning of Dating the Undead, as Silver was going on dates with the vamps – it was a hilarious adventure. Truthfully, I would have loved more of this to be honest.

Logan was also a great character – our vamp. Sexy, patient, borderline stalking, Logan was a yummy, humorous addition to the novel. The pair were steamy together with a ton of banter volleying back and forth.

The vampire culture and world-building were interesting and unique, but I wished I had just a bit more of it. Maybe it's because it's the first in the series, and the author wishes to expand it slowly over the course of the series. But I need a bit more to connect with the characters and the paranormal culture.

What didn't work for me: around the halfway mark, when Silver and Logan were together, the pacing started to drag and my interest waned. The cop story didn't fit whatsoever, and it seemed thrown in there, causing me to feel distracted and disinterested in the thread of storyline.

I highly recommend to fans of paranormal romance who love a twist of humor with their fangy between-the-sheets action.

Juliet Lyons is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She got her big break on the global storytelling site Wattpad back in 2015 when her Undead Dating Service series was picked up by Sourcebooks romance imprint, Sourcebooks Casablanca. When Juliet isn’t writing about vampires and ghosts, she enjoys reading all kinds of books and spending time with her family. She is an avid Potterhead who hopes to someday work for the Ministry of Magic.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dating the Undead (V-Date.Com #1) by Juliet Lyons to read and review.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Before You Break by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.

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Book 1
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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/M with Bi tendencies for one character, BDSM
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Wayne and Ellis have been partners for a while. They work in an elite group of police and run towards the danger that is out there in the world. However, when things start to become more stressful and Wayne notices that Ellis is not coping well, Wayne devises a plan to help Ellis see that perhaps they would be better if they were more than work partners.

Ellis has been running his whole life. He has family that was abusive, family that rely on him too much, and he's trying to do his physically and emotionally taxing job – he's burning the wick at both ends and unable to keep up.

Wayne is a dom and wants to show Ellis how giving his submission to Wayne could free his mind and body in ways that would help Ellis be better at his job and in all other aspects of his life. Despite Ellis' initial reservations, he befriends another sub at the club (a new club in town), and learns that he is indeed a sub. That it doesn't mean that he's weak, and that Wayne and he were meant to be.

When the unthinkable happens, will Ellis trust Wayne enough to know what he needs and how to provide him with it? Does Wayne trust in their relationship enough to fight for Ellis? I loved how this story developed because you knew so much about each character. Their chemistry was more "manly" than romantic, but they connected well nonetheless. I can't wait to see what this series brings!

Man, I know I won't be able to do this book justice with my review. I just loved it though. I couldn't put it down. If you are a fan of the Collars & Cuffs series you will love this book. Ellis and Wayne are partners at work and best friends. Wayne has been in love with Ellis for the entire time. Ellis, of course, doesn't know this or the fact that Wayne is a dom. When things start to go downhill with Ellis at work, Wayne steps in. These two have a rocky road ahead of them but Wayne isn't giving up and Ellis is trying his hardest not to give in on stuff, even though secretly he wants to. This book gave me the feels – I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to slap a few people. The reader even gets to see some characters from the Collars & Cuffs series too, which is awesome. Great read and I can't wait for the next installment.

Although this is a new series, we do get to meet some good friends from Collars & Cuffs – which is a great bonus!

The leads in this book are both in a very high intensity, high risk role in the police force. That career choice and the reality of waiting for something terrible to happen, is brilliantly written. The dynamics between the team, and Wayne and Ellis in particular, give us an insight into just how close they are. That Wayne has spent six years wanting Ellis, but only ever been a loyal friend gives us an idea of just how much he cares.

Now that he has decided that he needs to step up, Ellis gets the full force of his support and his dominance – requiring him to reveal some of his tragically unhappy past. The abuse he suffered was very odd, but sadly not impossible to imagine. People do some terrible things to their children, that is for sure. As Ellis finds the strength to let go and give Wayne control, we see the start of a deep, and hopefully fulfilling relationship for them both. The journey into D/s and more is very satisfying. Obviously, things are not always smooth sailing, but you need to read it to find out for yourself.

I look forward to seeing who will be the focus of future releases in this series. And hope that we get to catch up with this lovely couple.

PS. Just a couple of comments about the language/context – I am a Brit, so reading the term truck grated, and the talk of building their own house seemed highly unlikely for two normal earning guys living in London. There just isn't the land available.

K.C. Wells

I've always written, right from an early age. I was always writing stories as a child, and as I grew up, I had the idea of writing a novel, like so many people do. Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter... K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it... it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

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Parker Williams

PARKER WILLIAMS began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Before You Break (Secrets #1) by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams to read and review.