Monday, August 29, 2016

Called Up by Jen Doyle Blog Tour

There's one thing Max "Deke" Deacon can always count on besides his old high school teammates: Angelica "Fitz" Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with his best friend's sister is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz giving in to the feelings they've both been fighting for far too long.

Fitz knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she'd rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

But with Deke, Fitz feels dangerously close to falling in love. She can't risk another broken heart—especially if it means losing one of her best friends for good. Now it's up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

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Book 2
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“Hey, Dorie,” she heard from above her. “Do you know where Fitz wants these bottles of water?”

Speak of the devil. Fitz brought her head up a little too suddenly, banging it on the underside of the table. “Ouch!” Her hand going to the back of her head, she came up frowning, and...

Oh, God, was he this gorgeous before? Had he always smelled amazing?

Doing everything she could to keep herself immune from his physical charms, she spun on her heel. “Back here.”

Very specifically not looking in Deke’s direction so that she didn’t give anything away, she forced herself to act exactly as she always did around him. Except she suddenly couldn’t quite remember how that was. Did she flirt with him? Did she flat-out ignore him? Did she generally just go around in a state of low-level irritation? Because right now she had absolutely no clue.

She had even less of a clue as she bent down to open up the lid to the cooler and he crouched down next to her, his head so close all he’d need to do was turn it slightly to the left and his mouth would be on her breast.

And was that…?

Oh, hell, no, her nipples had not just hardened. She slapped her arms over her chest.

Because they had. And Deke, with his superhero sex god extra sensory perception, had definitely noticed. He at least had the decency to look down at the ground as he grinned.

“It’s the cold,” Fitz snapped. “From the cooler.”

Pushing the bottles down into the ice, Deke just answered, “You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Even without the professional sports glamour, I enjoyed the second book in this series even better than the first. The whole town of Inspiration remains a little too sweet for me, but Fitz and Deke are thankfully a little more caustic than Nate and Dorrie in the first book.

Both of these characters are fantastic. Deke is the laid back town playboy who finally finds out some long kept secrets and actually falls for a woman for the first time ever. He is endearing as a Little League coach and uncle, and the way Fitz runs circles around his new emotions is amusing.

Fitz is Nate’s half-sister, known in town for her ugly family history. Life has taught her not to trust and not to love. Always one of the guys, she can offer casual sex, but she won’t let her heart get broken.

This second book feels a little more modern than the first. While the town is still All-American community family values, there is more awareness of differences and outsiders in this story. Fitz and Nate’s friendship/hook-up/more? relationship will feel familiar to younger readers. Fitz’s professional struggles are interesting and I really loved her as a strong female lead.

Ultimately, this story is more small town realism than superstar sportsman fantasy and I enjoyed the honesty and wider themes explored in this book. For me, there are still a few too many cute and sweet moments in this story, but I liked the slightly grittier look at the perfect hometown. This might work as a standalone, but I think readers should start at the beginning of this fantastic series.

I really enjoyed Calling It (book 1), so it was with great delight that I embarked on this newest book in the series. Nate and his friends were very engaging, so I was sure that this would be a good read.

This time we get Deke and Fitz's stories, and story. Their lives have been intertwined since Fitz (Angelica) was first fostered by the Jensens, and then adopted by Nate's Mom (Mama Gin). As we rejoin the gang and get to see much more in Nate's hometown, a number of secrets are uncovered. I love that we get both points of view, and that Deke, in spite of being involved in everything, is somewhat clueless – had he been too perfect it would have spoiled the story. I hesitate to say any more, as you need to read and learn yourself just what he learns and what it means. For all the depth, we also get some great humour, some very sexy scenes, and hope for a fulfilling future.

There are so many good characters in these stories, that I hope we get to revisit them soon.

Also Available in the Calling It Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our Calling It post.

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Called Up (Calling It #2) by Jen Doyle to read and review for this tour.

A Fallen Heart by Cate Ashwood

After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

In the second book in this series, someone is still butchering young boys and the team at St. Joseph’s hospital are still trying to help the victims and find the man behind the killings. This story focuses on Ford, ER nurse and Sam’s best friend from the first book, and new paramedic, Nash.

With a more coherent plot and more likeable leading men, I much preferred this story to the first book in the series. The murder mystery continues through this story, but Nash and Ford provide victim care, they aren’t involved in the whodunit in quite the same way Sam was as a pathologist. Once again, I was irritated by the cliffhanger ending and I did find that parts of the plot were recycled from the first book.

Both Nash and Ford are out and comfortable with their sexuality, which was a refreshing change. Their relationship is less steamy than the one between Sam and Adam in the first book but there are still a few hot scenes. I enjoyed these two as a couple and I enjoyed them working in partnership too.

As a Vancouver native, I realised more than halfway through the second book that the landmarks and street names were very familiar but there is never actually any confirmation in either book that this series is set in Vancouver (or any other specific city). The result is a very limited sense of place in the series, which is unusual from a writer who can write atmospheric settings beautifully.

This is an exciting, sexy series, but only the romance, not the murder mystery story resolves at the end of each book. These books don’t stand alone well. Readers will need commit to the series from the first book, which isn’t something I often do.

Also Available in the Zero Hour Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our A Forced Silence Audiobook Review post.

I'm Cate! I live on the ocean in British Columbia, Canada with my husband, Christopher, my brand new little boy, Hudson, and my two kitties, Parker and Gracie. I'm happiest when spending time with my family, reading, or writing. Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after. Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Fallen Heart (Zero Hour #2) by Cate Ashwood to read and review.

Six by Ker Dukey

I grew up in the foster system and bounced around from place to place…I know what you’re thinking.
Bad things happened to me and fucked me up?
Don’t feel bad for me. I didn’t know a privileged life therefore I didn’t miss one.
I was what I was and I made it work. I actually had a few good homes in my lifetime, met some good people but that’s not what my stories about.
It’s not a Romeo and Juliet saga either, even if our stories do revolve around similar bases.
I knew a real love, a rare love… a love between two people that were never supposed to fall in love.
Rival gang members are never allowed to fall in love and it cost us everything.
The things I learned growing up the way I did is this:
Love is deadly and often not real.
People come and go and only the rare few stick around when shit gets tough.
I learned the hard way what lurks behind false smiles and that deceitful truths get whispered in sexual moans.
I was taught that dark souls are not born but they are created and you can avoid them, hide from them or learn and become them.
Revenge sculpt and molded me into the darkest of souls and with my wrath comes agony and torment more severe than hell itself.
I took out six of the men who hurt my woman and I will be coming for the rest.

Get in my way and I’ll come for you too.

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Also Available via Kindle Unlimited

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Six left such a lasting impression in the previous book, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on his story! The second book in the Men by Numbers series didn't disappoint.

I will say this story was a bit more introspective than the first, but no less entertaining.

We knew that Six was a newly released convict, and we even had a little idea of why he served time. We didn't know the extent of his inner turmoil or the anguish he has dealt with daily, definitely deserving of the title "Tortured Hero."

Misty provides the innocence that is needed to balance out the darkness that Six represents. She isn't a pushover though – she is ready and willing to fight what she wants!

As I said before, this story was a bit more introspective, but it still kept me interested. It seemed to go by way too quickly and was hot (when it needed to be), it was angsty, it kept me guessing, and overall it was very entertaining.

I know that anytime I read a Ker Dukey book, it will be dark [and always awesome], this story was the perfect mix of dark and light.

The release of Six has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. When we were notified of its initial release, I could not get signed up to review it fast enough. Six was a mystery of a man I was dying to unravel after reading Ten. As such, I cannot begin to express how devastated I was when the author had to delay its release – while I was excited for the author for the reason behind the book’s delay, I was still needing my Six fix. Obviously, I was ecstatic the day I got the email informing me of the new release date and when to expect an advance copy to be delivered to my Kindle. I couldn’t wait, yet I had to because I had other books on my schedule that kept me from being able to delve back into the world of Men by Numbers and the women who love them. And I’m pleased to say that Six’s story was worth the wait.

When I read the prologue, I thought I understood why Six was the way he was, but as the story unfolds, Dukey shows that while that incident played a huge part in forming the man we met in Ten, there were even more secrets hiding in Six’s past. And no, don’t expect me to tell them to you because that would ruin the experience. As it turns out, Misty, the woman he hired to manage the bar and who tempts him like no other, is also full of secrets. Although her childhood was touched by sadness at early age and emotional abuse as she got older, it was worlds better than Six’s and she came out stronger for it, not allowing it to break her. No, Misty’s secrets are from adulthood and when Six begins to discover them, he can no longer hold her at arm’s length. But as everyone knows, when life is going great, you better be ready for the shoe to drop (at least in romantic suspense novels you should). And once it dropped, it wedged itself into the door to let Six’s past come back in to threaten him, the life he’s made, and the people he loves. The ghosts from his past really should have known better than to poke the bear...

The action in Six is intense, but then again, so is Six. Because of a mistake he made sixteen years ago, one of misplaced passion and trust, Six killed six men and spent fifteen years in prison. Yet he still carries the guilt about his best friend, Hayley, being targeted as a result of his choices. His failure to protect her and the actions he took to avenge her have left him feeling as though he is undeserving of happiness – especially someone as sweet and innocent as Misty. This is what makes Misty’s revelation, the one that batters through Six’s wall, so hilarious. The romance is rather subtle because the focus is on Six’s guilt and coming to terms with the possibility of happiness when Hayley had none. Yet Misty worms her way into Six’s heart just as he secures his place in hers. And that’s actually what made their “break-up” scene feel a bit over-the-top to me. Within only a few pages, Misty goes from being sure of their love, knowing how Six feels about her because his behavior and affections prove his feelings despite his lack of saying the words, to believing it was all a lie simply because he says he doesn’t love her. It didn’t jibe with me because it was out of character for the Misty I had come to know over the course of the novel. Perhaps if we had experienced a memory or two of her father’s verbal abuse, it would have been easier for me to believe, but it just didn’t ring true. However, that was a minimal blip on my radar and was quickly overshadowed by what Six learned from the main target of his wrath, as well as Max’s secret. Didn’t see any of that coming. Not at all. Six was a great read and addition to the Men of Numbers series and Dukey has once again left me salivating for the next book in the series because now I’m dying to read Seven’s story.

Also Available in the Men by Numbers Series

Book 1
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Also Available via Kindle Unlimited

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Ten Blog Tour.

I have always had a passion for storytelling, whether it be through lyrics or bed time stories with my sisters. I wanted to be an actress growing up so I could live many roles but I learned early on that my mind was too active... I would want to change the script. I would watch films and think of ways they could of improved the story if they took another direction so I thought it best that I tell my own.

My mum would always have a book in her hand when I was young and passed on her love for reading, inspiring me to venture into writing my own. I tend to have a darker edge to my writing. Not all love stories are made from light, some are created in darkness but are just as powerful and worth telling.

When I'm not lost in the world of characters I love spending time with my family. I'm a mum and that comes first in my life but when I do get down time I love attending music concerts or reading events with my younger sister.

You can find me on Facebook where I love interacting with my readers.

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ARC Provided by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Six (Men by Numbers #2) by Ker Dukey to read and review.

Maybe Yes by Ella Miles

Her future is already set, all she has to do is marry a complete stranger.

Kinsley Felton has everything. Money, a loving family, and a modeling career. She graduates from Yale in just days, but unlike a typical college student she doesn't have to spend hours looking for a job when she graduates. Kinsley will inherit the multi-billion dollar gaming and hospitality company her great-grandfather started. The only problem is she has to do everything her family asks for in order to get that money. That includes marrying a man of her family's choosing. That's not a problem since Kinsley has been following her family's orders all her life. Until a phone call from her grandfather changes everything.

Will she marry the man her family chooses or will she decide her own future?

**Maybe Series is a 3 book series. The series is a little bit dirty and grows darker with each book. This book ends on a cliffhanger.***

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I read the entire Aligned series by Ella Miles and enjoyed the story very much. When this book came up for free and review I grabbed it up. BUT, I found Kinsley's character a bit lackluster and overly wishy washy from the get go. I hoped by mid-book she'd do something more redeeming than deciding to run her family's casino without any prior business experience, but, nope. Talk about setting yourself up for failure. While Kinsley has a real mind for numbers, which includes counting cards at a blackjack table, I never felt she had the ability to run the family casino. I think that's where the story went south for me. She needed to show her skills sooner or show us something redeemable other than her inability to even choose an alcoholic beverage! Killian was an interesting character though, and he alone kept me reading where I was ready to stop. He was a great dominant male with lovely dirty talking skills. The end, like the last four books I've read by Miles, was quite a twisty cliffhanger! But while I had to know what happened next in the Aligned series, I really am not feeling the need in the Maybe series. Kinsley was just too vapid and indecisive.

Kinsley Felton is 21 years old and about to graduate from college. She is the daughter of the Felton family who own several casinos in Vegas, so you could say she is a princess. And at times, she acts like a spoiled princess. She can never make up her mind and if she does, it takes her a long time. When tragedy strikes, she has to go home and there she learns just what her father and grandfather had planned for her life.

Killian Browne is the VP of Operations, worked closely with Kinsley's father at one of the casinos and he wants to be CEO. But the deal he and Kinsley have to agree to is a big one. Will they both accept it or will they fight each other to the end?

And holy hell, I was not expecting that ending at all. I can't wait to start the next one.

This is the story of a spoiled, filthy rich model and heiress who just never stops whining. Beautiful, privileged and completely indecisive, this girl wakes up at the age of 21 and decides she isn’t quite sure she likes the life she has allowed her family to create for her.

I usually enjoy arranged marriage or marriage of convenience stories, but I really couldn’t bring myself to like the characters in this one. There just isn’t enough believable conflict for most of this story. Killian is blandly perfect, which makes him less than interesting and only serves to emphasise Kinsley’s princess attitude. Supporting characters are sketched in and Kinsley’s magic business skills really aren’t believable.

I am never a fan of cliffhanger stories and this one is really strange. At the end of this incredibly insipid, old-school romance, a wildcard cliffhanger twists the series into some sort of mafia/federal agent adventure. But while cliffhangers are supposed to entice readers to continue with a series, this one really annoyed me because I only finished the book for resolution and I really don’t care enough about any of the characters to read the next book.

I imagine that fans of the Kardashians, TOWIE and Made in Chelsea will enjoy this series, but I need more complex characters, believable conflict, and a touch of humour with my romance. This series just isn’t for me.

Kinsley Felton has been following her family's orders her whole life, and as long as she continues to do so she will eventually inherit her great grandfather's casino company. The only problem is Kinsley's not sure she wants to marry a man her family chooses for her.

I don't know about Maybe Yes, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it kind of grew on me and I would be interested in reading book two; but on the other hand, as a female I kind of hated Kinsley, the main character. I just felt like smacking her in the face half the time. Where was her backbone? Why was she so whiny and indecisive? I get that she's been a pampered princess, but she can't even order her own adult beverage? Personally, I think Killian is what really made me want to finish this book. He came off as strong, confident, and sexy. I would've really liked to have gotten some chapters in his character's point of view, especially after that ending! All in all, not my favorite book, but I would be still be interested in checking out some of Ella Miles other books and seeing how the Maybe series ends.

Kinsley Felton is the princess of the family. Her dad pays for her luxury condo and the closets get stocked full from the modeling gigs she does while she's going to college. The plan has always been that her father and grandfather would prearrange a marriage so her husband would be capable to run the family-owned casinos. After getting a little taste of making her own decisions for one night, she wants more, but when tragedy strikes, her soon to be husband is picked earlier than expected. Will she be able to go through with it?

I wasn't a fan of this one. I've loved other series by Ms. Miles, but this one just didn't catch my attention like the others. Unfortunately, this one just wasn't for me.

I am having a very hard time reviewing this book. It totally left me with that WTH?! feeling. Obviously, the cliffhanger was meant to, but it wasn't just that.

I want to give this 2 stars, but I'm giving it 3 because I know the next book will be a bit more detailed. This book felt like it was a partial book. I'm not sure I agree with how it just cut off, but I guess that's how you get people to get another book.

This one is too vague for me to give a proper review. You get introduced to the characters, but aren't given enough detail to really get a true understanding of them.

I know there is more to it, but I'll HAVE to get the next book to know, which kinda irritates me. I'll save my full judgement until after I read Maybe Never. I'm sure it has the answers to why Kinsley is the way she is, etc.

I'm not sure I'd recommend this book without a warning that it requires the next books to understand anything. Overall, it is promising and has a good start.

Ella Miles writes sexy romance with strong females that could kick your butt if you piss them off, which they often do to the men that fall for them. She's currently living her own happily ever after near the Rocky Mountains with her high school sweetheart husband. Her heart is also taken by her goofy two year old black lab that is scared of everything, including her own shadow. Ella is the author of the Aligned and Maybe series. Get a free book by visiting her website.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Maybe Yes (Maybe #1) by Ella Miles to read and review.

Cover Reveal – From the Get Go by Sean Michael

When easygoing Texas artist Dakin McBride makes his way to Ottawa, Canada, for a showing, he meets Jeff Tamrin, the fastidious manager of the Sussex Gallery. Despite coming from different worlds and being opposites in almost every way, the attraction is immediate, and soon Dakin and Jeff negotiate their own brand of diplomatic relations, forgetting all about art or seeing the sights the city has to offer. They get wrapped up in the moment, each of them intrigued by what he feels for the other.

The more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. Dakin has a life to go back to in Texas, though, and Jeff has his own in Canada. Is there any way for their budding romance to survive the thousands of miles separating them? The relationship seems doomed, but at the same time, it feels too right to give up without a fight.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2005.

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Releases September 28th
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Dreamspinner Press

A Note from Sean Michael

This book is the first one that I wrote which I set (in part) in my hometown of Ottawa. And I was so excited to have Ottawa represented on the cover. I have passed by the Parliament buildings you see on the cover many, many times, and I have walked the grounds on plenty of occasions as well.

Just this summer I spent an evening watching the Northern Lights show – where the parliament buildings themselves are turned into a projection screen. The show goes through the history of Canada in a fun and fascinating way.

The gallery in the story isn’t real, but the street it’s on is, as are many of the streets and sights mentioned in the book.  If you ever get a chance to visit there’s plenty to do, even if Jeff is no longer available as a tour guide!

Sean Michael
smut fixes everything

He was congratulating himself on a day well spent when the door opened behind him, a soft clearing of throat calling his attention. “Excuse me, sir. I’m looking for a Mr. Tamrin?”

He turned, coming face-to-face with someone who looked (and sounded) like he was out of an Old West novel.

He smiled, delighted by this anomaly. “You’ve found him.” He held out his hand. “Jeff Tamrin.”

“Pleased.” The shake was firm and sure. Eyes so blue they had to be contacts smiled at him from a leathered face. “I’m Dakin McBride. I do the leather stuff? I have a truck full of stuff coming, so I reckoned I ought to introduce myself.”

“My missing art! Wonderful. It’s very nice to meet you.” And if he held on to Mr. McBride’s hand just a little too long, maybe the man would get the idea that it was very nice to meet him.

“Not missing at all. Waiting for a place to land.” Those blue eyes looked around the gallery, taking in the chaos, the lights. “Nice place.”

“Don’t judge her yet; she cleans up really well. Would you like the tour?” Or a drink? Lord, he needed to get out more.

The cell went off again and he sighed, flipping it open. “Not now, Jenni, I’m busy.” Then he closed it and gave Dakin McBride his best smile.

Dakin chuckled, took off the cowboy hat, and nodded. His dark hair was caught back in a tie, a mass of curls spreading over the back of his black shirt. “I’d love a look-see, if you have time. My boxes should be in town first thing in the morning.”

“Excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing your stuff. Jenni’s putting together an exciting exhibition.” He took Dakin’s arm to lead him into the main show area. “Oh! Do you want some coffee, Dakin? May I call you Dakin?”

“I’d love some, thanks, and Dakin’s fine.” He gave Jeff a warm, slow smile. “I’m around for a couple weeks, sight-seeing, so you might see a little of me.”

“That would be all right. I like the little I see so far.” Jeff detoured back to the counter with the pot and poured out a mug. “How do you take it?”

“Black, thanks.” There was a little hemp necklace resting around Dakin’s throat, a single hematite bead in the middle. Yum.

“Where are you staying?” he asked casually, handing the cup over and nodding back toward the main room.

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

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Want to win an ebook copy of
From the Get Go by Sean Michael?

All you have to do is leave a blog comment telling us where you’d rather live:

And we mean weather-wise, would you prefer the near year-round heat of Texas or the presence of seasons of Canada?

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, September 4, 2016.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Don't Twunk with My Heart by Renae Kaye

Kee Smith isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows who he used to be—the ignored gay son who chose a blue-collar job just because no one expected it, the submissive bottom who enjoyed large, masculine jocks who put him in his place, the sleek, fashionable twink who partied all night. But after his ex-boyfriend hit Kee and called him names, Kee retired from the social scene.

Back after a year’s hiatus, Kee still doesn’t know where he fits. His friends say he’s a twunk—a twink who put on muscle and turned into a hunk—but Kee is searching for somewhere to belong. Instead of going back to his usual type, Kee hooks up with twink Tate Stevens—a fashion-industry professional who works the image hard. It proves to be the best decision he’s ever made, and not just because he’s starting to regain his sexual confidence.

With Tate, Kee can open up about his fears and confusion without ridicule. Tate has his own fears about putting on weight and getting old. It will take work to make a relationship of opposites succeed, but they begin to realize the compromises will be worth it if they can be together.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book was just okay for me, wasn’t bad but wasn’t outstanding. The premise was good, but I just didn’t feel the passion between the characters and there seemed to be mostly filler and not enough action for me. It was light hearted and didn’t really have much drama in it. I mean there were a few parts that had Kee freaking out because of his ex, Matt the Rat, but other than that, it was just okay. I did love Jamie, but I know if I knew him in real life, he would get on my nerves.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

RENAE KAYE is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years—and thousands of stories!—of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her, though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple—and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then, she is stuck with quirky, snarky, and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia, and writes in five-minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework, and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

Her first novel, Loving Jay, was voted the Best Book Debut 2014 by the member’s choice awards in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Don't Twunk with My Heart (Loving You #2) by Renae Kaye to read and review.

Three Little Words by Allison Cassatta

Is it better to keep some secrets locked away?

Matt thought his life was perfect, but he learns there’s no such thing when the man he planned to marry breaks his heart and leaves him holding the pieces. Needing to escape and lick his wounds, Matt heads to New England to spend time on his brother’s lobster boat. A one-night stand proves to him that empty sex does nothing to mend old hurt, and neither does running away.

So when Matt’s best friend, Luke, a firefighter, is seriously injured, Matt steps up, even if it means facing bigotry and ignorance. Luke has been hiding his feelings from Matt all their lives, and revealing them after so many years won’t make life easier for either of them. But nothing worth having ever comes easily….

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Amber Quill Press, 2013.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The blurb for the book drew me in. I was so excited to read this book and then it just sort of flopped for me. Matt’s boyfriend leaves him a Dear John letter, his best friend Luke helps him pack up his stuff so he can go to New England and work on his brother’s lobster boat. Matt and Luke kiss, it was a hot kiss, but then Matt leaves and everything is left hanging. Matt meets a guy at a hotel when he was grabbing breakfast to finish the last leg of his trip to New England. Matt ends up hooking up with said guy a few days later. The chemistry between them was smoking hot and so was the sex scene. Matt knows he loves Luke though and doesn’t want anything more. Luke is hurt in an accident and Matt rushes to his side. Things happen with Luke’s family but Matt is right there by his side. These two have loved each other for over 20 years but never told each other, you would think the chemistry would be off the charts, but honestly it wasn’t. I know Luke was hurt and when they finally did have sex it was just okay. Everyone got their happily ever after, but it was just an okay book for me.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Not sure
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I loved the blurb and really wanted to enjoy this story, but there is just way too much going on in this book. The story tracks Matt as he reestablishes his life after a Dear John letter from his long-term partner.

I really failed to warm to Matt. All the pieces of a great character are sketched in, but he never came alive for me. Luke is a more interesting character, but this is told from Matt’s point of view and Luke never felt like a fully developed character.

I struggled with the lack of a coherent plot right from the beginning. The rapid fire series of events at the start of the story lead to a long, slow hospital/invalid story during the second half of the book. In the first half, readers are treated to a series of very detailed mundane moments in Matt’s life. A grotty hotel is described in detail, banal conversations never seem to end, and there is something a little Forrest Gump about the series of vaguely related moments during the first half of the story.

I found the subplots somewhat bewildering. This is very much a telling story rather than a showing story and the pace just isn’t very consistent. Readers are told about Matt’s very complicated family history, but we never understand how the family history impacts the present. Luke’s family adds more conflict near the end, but I had to re-read the conversations Luke has with his mum before realising that it wasn’t me – there are definitely some continuity errors by the end of this story.

Again, I love a friends-to-lovers story, but the execution of this story left my head spinning.

ALLISON CASSATTA was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lives happily with her amazing husband of over a decade. She has written more than twenty books with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual pairings. Her passion is the beauty of love and the art of words.

Allison’s accolades include 2013 Top Pick of the Year from The Novel Approach, 2013 All Romance Ebooks Bestseller, 2012 Rainbow Book Awards Honorable Mention Winner, 2011 Best-selling Author, and 2011 Best Anthology. She is currently published with Dreamspinner Press, Fireborn Publishing, Amber Quill Press, and MLR Press.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Three Little Words by Allison Cassatta to read and review.