Friday, January 19, 2018

Sleighed It by Max Monroe

From the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Tapping the Billionaire comes a Billionaire Bad Boys Holiday Novella.

Question: What would you do if every holiday you ever spent with your family ended in disaster?

I’ll tell you: you’d cry.

I know, because each and every celebration with my family ends in chaos—and I’ve had more than my share of mental breakdowns because of it.

But I’m done with the tears, the insanity—I refuse to take it anymore.

This Christmas is going to be perfect.

I’ll put Thatch in a fluffing Santa Claus suit and have him tap dance to Jingle Bells, if I have to. I deserve Christmas smiles and that feel-good Christmas high I’ve been missing.

My name is Georgia Brooks, and by Christmas night, my husband, my kids, and my closest friends will be thinking only one fluffing thing…

She Sleighed It.

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Book 3.7
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆☆
Five Fluffin' Stars for this holiday novella.

When this book hit my Kindle, I stopped what I was doing and sat down for this wild ride.

I adore Georgia and her quest for her the "perfect" holiday. We've all been there, we get it. For once, you want everything to be perfect, or least, not awful. In Georgie's world, it’s the not being with her, you know the ones that raised her and have NO filters. She wants it to just be her family, the one that she created for herself: Kline, the two adorable kids they made, and her eccentric friends. Not her parents, her uncle and cousins, or her wayward brother who claims to have to "work" Christmas Day.

Unfortunately, someone didn't get the memo and now Georgie's parents are camped out in an RV in front of their cabin in the woods and Wes invited half the football team to join in. Oh, and Mama Cummings revealed that she has NEVER made non-alcoholic eggnog.

Kline has his hands full trying to get his Benny to relax and go with the flow, and if he didn't think she'd have a stroke on the spot, I think he just might try to convince her that baby #3 is on his Christmas wish list.

Oh, and the nutjob who invited her parents... well, you'll just have to read it to find out for yourself. Let's just say, Georgie has been bested by someone she never considered to be in the game.

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you a sexy, laugh-out-loud new series… & more. 😉

New writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half.

Stay tuned for the future—this is where the fun begins.

Connect with Max

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Mary Jo reviewed her personal copy of Sleighed It (Billionaire Bad Boys #3.7) by Max Monroe for this post.

The Biker's Virgin by Michelle A. Valentine

I was given one simple job. Break in and kidnap a rival MC club's daughter.

I wasn't expecting her to be a barely legal virgin begging me to take her.

I have to have her—wife her up and let the world know she belongs to me. I don't even care if not following orders could cost me my life.

She's. Mine.

No one will take her away from me.

A hot, sexy standalone with a dirty-talking biker and his sweet virgin.

This is a dirty dirty novella with an HEA and NO cheating!

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a hot, steamy, dirty talking, sexy, fast-paced, and quick story that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

Cade was sent to kidnap Piper and ended up falling for her. So, to save them both, he takes her and they run. But can they run from his MC and her father’s MC? Cade and Piper are drawn to each other and the attraction is instant.

Although this is a novella, I wouldn't mind if there was more from this MC of Cade's in a series. I love a good MC story and the alpha males that come with them.

If you haven't read anything from Michelle A. Valentine yet, read this quickie and enjoy yourself. And then you can read her rock stars in the Black Falcon series, I love the few I have read so far. And don't forget her Hard Knocks series, which I have and need to read soon.

Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic and New Adult romance. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos, and sexy musicians inspired her erotic BLACK FALCON series.

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Mary reviewed her personal copy of The Biker's Virgin by Michelle A. Valentine for this post.

The Dragon King by Heather Killough-Walden

Millennia ago, in the time of dragons, love and hate colored the very air monsters breathed. Ancient sorcery coursed through powerful wings like blood, pumped by hearts of magic, and timeless beasts of lore soared over the landscape, terrible and wondrous.
Amidst these beasts of yesteryear, a forbidden love bloomed. A child was born of this love.
But misfortune struck, and a murder rocked the world of the leviathans, tearing the family apart. Years piled atop this monumental death, legends faded and myths were twisted, and time made labyrinths of memories long gone.

Now, in the heart of one of America’s busiest cities, thrives a young woman with no last name. Evangeline is from a time before human tradition and provincialism. She is strong, born of legendary parents, and trained by the hard luck of solitary existence and sheer willpower.
When she learns that she has a fate beyond her control as queen to one of the Thirteen Kings – she rebels. Eva refuses to yield despite the king’s tall, strong bearing, vivid gray eyes that see through her, and voice that commands the very elements.
She refuses him, not only because of who she is – but because of who he is.

The catastrophically charismatic Dragon King bent on claiming her is none other than the man who murdered her father thousands of years ago.

But a primordial sleeping force has awakened to finally wreak dark havoc upon the world, and a Traitor to the Kings has returned to hunt Evangeline down. As her life spins out of control, Eva learns that not even her beliefs about the Dragon King are guaranteed. Nothing is black and white. And ultimately, Eva finds herself trapped: Between cruel, heartless evil on one side – and the love of an ancient, dark, and beautiful man on the other.

The Dragon King is book twelve in The Kings series, and follows The Nightmare King, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Killough-Walden.

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Book 12
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I don't even know what to say about The Dragon King except that Heather Killough-Walden never fails to deliver in this series. This is perhaps one of the more violent installments in the series (or maybe I need to read the previous books again) as the Traitor proves exactly how sadistic he is when he manages to kidnap Eva. Even knowing that this is a romance and knowing that the King will claim his Queen, I worried as to whether or not Cal would be successful in rescuing and claiming Eva, as well as worried about what state she would be in after she suffered at the hands of the Traitor. Knowing that a happy ending is coming and seeing it play out after seemingly impossible odds are two different things and the author managed to tie me up in even bigger knots than usual in The Dragon King.

As with previous installments, there are more revelations about the Entity's plot and he makes great strides in his plan to bring down The Kings and their Queens. Jaw dropping strides. But there is even more going on than I anticipated, and Killough-Walden not only made this installment an action-packed adventure that kept me up late two nights in a row, but she set the stage for what I'm assuming will be the final book in the series and it's gonna be epic. And that ending? Oh, what a wonderfully frustrating cliffhanger ending that left me gasping for breath even as I wanted to scream in denial.

Heather Killough-Walden is a California native currently living in Texas with her husband and child. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling e-book author of the Big Bad Wolf series and the October Trilogy. Heather’s educational background includes religious studies, archaeology, and law. She has traveled all over the world but hopes to one day live in a town with a world-class hockey team. (Let's go, Pens!)

Visit Heather’s website, where you can sign up for her newsletter. Also, be sure to keep in touch with her and other fans through her Facebook page and Twitter!

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Angela reviewed her personal copy of The Dragon King (The Kings #12) by Heather Killough-Walden for this post.

Taming Teddy by Lucy Lennox

Teddy: If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s commitment. You don’t become an award-winning photographer by staying in one place. I’m always on the road, looking for the next shot, the next award, the next hot body. Which is how I end up on Dr. James Marian’s front porch in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. He’s known as the Wildlife Whisperer, and I want to photograph him in action. He’s reluctant at first, but I can be persuasive.

Soon enough I have him in bed saying yes over and over and over again, but my ability to shoot and scoot is frozen by a Denali snowstorm.

Jamie: I always thought of myself as the marrying type. Until I got left at the altar. Now I have a new motto: never commit and never fall in love. So when a cocky nature photographer decides I’m the key to his next masterpiece, it seems like the perfect arrangement: the hotshot’s only in town for a brief assignment and then he’ll be gone. No commitment, no strings, and no chance of getting my heart broken again.

There’s just one problem: I think I’m falling in love. Now I’m afraid that maybe I’m the marrying type after all. And he definitely is not.

Fair warning: Jamie and Teddy's story contains scenes of delicious man parts touching, Aunt Tilly dropping F-bombs, and two stubborn hearts finding each other in the wilds of Alaska.

While it can also be read on its own, Taming Teddy is the second in the new Made Marian series. Each book tells the story of one of the Marian brothers' search for true love. The first in the series, Borrowing Blue, is available now on Amazon.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the first book I have read in this series. I did not feel like I was missing anything by not reading the first book, so it can be read as a standalone. However, I will be going back and reading the first one since I loved this book so much!!! I just loved how this book started with the banter between Teddy and Jamie. I just loved it from beginning to end. These two had sooo much chemistry and were sooo good together. I did not want the book to end. I laughed and cried, and my heart melted a time or two. The secondary characters were good too, and I hope they all get their own books. Very light on the angst but heavy on the love. Great Sunday afternoon read.

After enjoying creative writing as a child, Lucy didn’t write her first novel until she was over 40 years old. Her debut novel, Borrowing Blue, was published in the autumn of 2016. Lucy has an English Literature degree from Vanderbilt University, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the years and years of staying up all night reading tantalizing novels on her own. She has three children, plays tennis, and hates folding laundry. While her husband is no shmoopy romance hero, he is very good at math, cooks a mean lasagne, has gorgeous eyes, looks hot in his business clothes, and makes her laugh every single day.

Lucy hopes you enjoy sexy heroes as much as she does. Happy reading!

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Angie reviewed her personal copy of Taming Teddy (Made Marian #2) by Lucy Lennox for this post.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Way with You by Lane Hayes Release Blitz

Reeve Nelson is determined to make it in Manhattan. He’s hardworking, dedicated and willing to put in the extra hours required to be successful at his new job at a prestigious real estate firm in the city. There’s no way he’s going back to small-town living and an ex-girlfriend who won’t let go. But his boss isn’t making it easy.

Leo Rodriguez enjoys his reputation as a ruthless businessman. He’s a lone wolf who’s scraped his way from the gutter to rebuild his life and launch a distinguished career on his terms. When an opportunity to expand in the market comes up, Leo wants the eager new agent with a sense of wonder on the project. But nothing goes quite as planned. Reeve expected to be intimidated and overwhelmed by Leo, however, the explosive mutual attraction and fierce desire between them is a big surprise. Neither man is looking for love and yet, something special just might happen if they can find their way… together.

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Yeah, this was my idea but I wasn’t prepared to be this close to Leo again. His mere presence overwhelmed me. He smelled so good. I wanted to bury my nose in the collar of his button-down shirt and just…breathe. I told myself Leo was a regular guy like every other guy here, but truthfully, he wasn’t the least bit ordinary. Even in executive chic, Leo turned more heads than the shirtless bartenders. And when he smiled at the young man next to me who offered him his stool, he added another admirer to his list.

I’d never been around anyone who changed the temperature in a room simply by entering it the way he did. It wasn’t his appearance either. His height and sharp sense of style might garner a second glance, but his true appeal was innate. It was in the way he spoke and moved. He didn’t mince words or waste time. He was concise and direct and acted with purpose. I got the impression Leo Rodriguez had a reason for everything he did, including wanting to meet with me.

Leo perched on the vacated stool and then hooked his thumb at me when I didn’t reply. “He’ll have a martini too.”

“No. I mean, yes. But with olives, please. No onions.” I thanked the bartender then swiveled to face Leo, accidentally bumping his knee.

I muttered a quick apology and cautioned myself to pull it together. Leo wasn’t my boss anymore, for fuck’s sake. I just wished he didn’t make me so anxious.

Commence the nervous chatter.

“Onions? No one orders onions,” I snorted. “And vodka-soaked onions are especially gross.”

Leo’s lip curled on one side like a pirate. “When was the last time you had a vodka-soaked onion?”

“Uh…well, never,” I admitted with a frown. “But it sounds gross.”

“Chocolate covered scorpions and braised frog legs are gross. Onions aren’t in the same zip code.”

I made a face and shivered. “Have you actually eaten those things?”

“Yeah, and actually, they’re not so bad. Chocolate hides the taste of anything, even insects, and frog legs taste like chicken. But you never know unless you try.”

“No thanks.”

Leo tsked playfully. “You have big opinions, a big mouth, and a hot temper, Nelson. No wonder I like you.” He nodded his thanks when the bartender delivered our cocktails then raised his glass in a mock toast. “To onions.”


“We sure as fuck ain’t drinkin’ to olives,” he quipped.

I chuckled at his comedic expression then sipped my martini while I wracked my brain for a non-confrontational topic of conversation to stall the inevitable one.

“What do you have against olives?” Weak. But it was better than nothing, and Leo seemed willing to play along.

“Nothing. It’s a texture thing. I don’t eat them if I can help it but I love olive oil. And tapenade is cool as long as those little suckers are chopped really fine. Otherwise, olives are a hard pass for me. Everyone has a food like that. What’s yours?”

“Kidney beans,” I replied quickly. “I like them in chili but not in salad. I have a great recipe for spicy chili that requires multiple glasses of water on standby. My grandmother made it when we were kids and”—I stopped to take a gulp of my drink before braving a look his way—“I’m sorry. You make me nervous.”

“Why, Reeve?” he purred, leaning into his elbow on the bar next to mine. “Is it because of last night?”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoyed this book – it is always interesting to read a romance set in a less common scenario; here we have some insight into the world of estate agency, and also a fledgling TV project.

There can be some dissonance in romances which have a bisexual lead, but the strength of character of Reeve, and the alpha male Leo ensure that we have no doubts about their genuine attraction for each other. There were lots of twists and turns which I was not expecting, and I really enjoyed them. From Leo's rise in fortunes, to the familial links which nearly destroyed everything, there was plenty to keep the reader on their toes plot-wise. The explosive chemistry between the two men was also exploited to its fullest, and yet there are some lovely, romantic, and caring moments too.

Thank you, Ms. Hayes, for a really good read.

A Way with You is a perfect example of why I don’t understand why some readers automatically eschew novellas, saying they’re too short. Hayes has crafted a novella that is jam packed full of story, steaming forward in such a way that its page count is irrelevant because the story is complete. You have lust that turns into affection that turns into more, giving Reeve and Leo a satisfying happy for now ending. Added to that are some seriously hot sexual encounters that will leave you fanning yourself as you try to cool down before the next scene. Never fear, it’s not all smooth sailing as Reeve has some major baggage from his failed marriage that boils over into his professional life that leads to the “snap” that moves his relationship with Leo from professional to personal – and, man, was that a HAWT scene!

I have not read any of Felice Steven’s The Breakfast Club series, which the Memories with The Breakfast Club Kindle World is based on, so I can’t comment on how well it fits or if any of the characters in A Way with You appear in any of Steven’s books. With that said, Reeve and Leo’s story stands on its own wonderfully… except that you may find yourself wanting to grab Hayes’ other contribution to the Memories with The Breakfast Club Kindle World, A Way with Words, which is Remy and Tony’s story – Reeve’s cousin and his fiancé. At least, that’s what happened to me when I went looking for their story. So if you’re looking for a well written story that will suck you in and make you forget that you’re reading a novella, and is full of emotion, romance, and seriously hot sex, then you may want to give A Way with You a try. It’s certainly earned a spot on my re-read shelf – what am I talking about, I’ve already read it twice.

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate, and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Way with You (Memories with The Breakfast Club) by Lane Hayes to read and review for this tour.

My Torin by K. Webster Blog Tour

I’m a freak, a misfit, an odd end.
Abandoned and unloved.
But my happiness is so close I can taste it.

Until he shows up

Gorgeous, expensive, and all man.
Sad brown eyes and a brilliant smile.
And he wants me to go with him.

His intentions are hidden.
His motives are unclear.
Yet, I leave with him because there’s no happiness here.

What he promises feels too good to be true…
A castle. A fortune. And horses too.
It’s too easy.
Nothing in my life has ever been easy.

What’s the catch?
There’s always a catch.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

K. Webster has written a beautiful story – but it's not for the faint of heart and it is definitely emotionally challenging and somewhat morally strange at times.

I think that in order to truly appreciate this story, you need to go in to it knowing that it's not your typical romance story. It has hints of Stockholm Syndrome, coercion, and blackmail. There are also very unconventional family values and some mental health issues.

Torin is trying to figure out just how to get from day to day. He has a version of autism and has trouble communicating with anyone. He has lived with his brother always and their family is very well off. However, when he sees Casey, all bets are off. He needs to have her near him and his brother, Tyler, sees the connection.

Casey is simply hoping to make it long enough to escape the foster care system that has held her captive. She can see the light at the end of the tunnel and knows that if she can just hold on a little, she'll be free. When she meets Tyler, she knows that something is going on, but can't quite put her finger on it. Despite her better judgment, she goes with him and is thrust in to a life of luxury and oddness.

This story takes on so many different shapes and there are so many twists. There is love, loss, hatred, disappointment, regret, and shame, all wrapped in to each one of these characters. As you continue to read, you can't help but feel for each character differently.

I think where I had the most issue is with Torin and Casey's connection and interactions. They were not typical and at times, almost violent. However, because their dialogue was so limited, I had a difficult time processing their relationship.

Overall, this was a powerful story about love and loss. It was hard to read at times and definitely made me angry and feel yucky at other times. I don't know if I'd say I liked the story, but I can appreciate it.

This book... it completely gutted me. K. Webster takes you on an emotional journey from start to finish. My Torin is an amazing read. I would definitely mark this as one of my favorites in 2018. It is so much more than two people falling in love. You don't just read their story, you experience it with them. My Torin is heartbreakingly beautiful.

A must read!

This is one of those stories that once you start reading it, the only time you put it down is to sleep and work. And I started it last night and I didn't want it to end.

It is full of pain, heartache, love, and heartbreak that will have you laughing and crying. This story is about Casey, Tyler, and Torin and you cannot imagine the direction the story is going to go from reading the blurb. But then again, if you have read anything from K. Webster before, you would expect that from her. She can take a story and have you thinking it is going one way and it totally goes in a direction you were not expecting.

So this review is short and sweet, I will say read it, love it. And keep your hands in and hang on and enjoy the rollercoaster ride that is My Torin. I loved everything about it and I want more.

This is a dark and gritty story that pushed my boundaries a little bit too far. My reaction to the book was pretty intense, but I know my reasons are personal and I know that other readers will love the angst and drama in this story.

As the foster carer of a child the same age as Casey, I was immediately wary of Tyler as her new carer and instantly protective of Casey. The sexual interest that Tyler immediately takes in Casey made me uncomfortable. The lavish gifts Tyler bestows on Casey made me squirm and the dubious consent surrounding Casey’s physical relationship with Torin felt really wrong. For me, too much in this book felt exploitative of a child desperate for affection and somewhere to belong.

I do get that this is dark fantasy writing. And I know healthy women who will enjoy some of the ‘daddy kink’ moments that I struggled with. This just isn’t a book I could personally engage with.

Oh My Goodness – this is a totally amazing book! I know Ms. Webster to be a fantastic author, but I think this is a truly exceptional book. Be warned though, you will need tissues.

It is full of unexpected twists and turns which are brilliant, then heartbreaking, and then amazing again. I cannot really tell you anything else, because you really need to read it yourself, and get the full experience. I promise you won't regret it.

I intend to read it again very soon, as I am sure that I missed some of the subtlety due to my need to know what happened next. It will undoubtedly have a prized place on my reread list. Thank you, Ms. Webster, for having the insight and the courage to write such a book – it is inspiring.

K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.

Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.

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Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks Blog Tour


He didn't paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs.

He didn't paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn't feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn't paint people until he painted Jackson.

Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.

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Boroughs Publishing Group

He’d never been to Humboldt Park before, but he heard it had a pretty good scene. When he was unaffiliated, he could get away with going to the gay spots on the South Side, but now that he was with the KKz, he had to be more careful. He disembarked and walked the short distance to the big rock where guys supposedly met. Sitting down on a bench, he pulled out a cigarette he had bummed off Luis and watched as a couple of queens made a connection and disappeared into the wooded area a few feet behind the boulder. He let the filter rest between his lips as he leaned back to stare up at the moon. It was a waxing crescent that barely glowed against the black expanse of the sky, making the already poorly lit park even darker.

He peered down at a man who took a seat on the bench next to him. They sat quietly, Evan’s head still thrown back and the guy smoking his cigarette as if he hadn’t just propositioned him.

“Nice night,” Evan threw out as if he was telling the moon rather than the guy beside him.

“Are you looking to chitchat or are you trying to fuck?” When Evan finally dropped his head, he noticed that the guy was peering at him with raised eyebrows. They stared for a moment, and without a doubt, a spark arced between them.

“Depends what you’re into I guess,” Evan replied, noticing that the man had a perfectly plump pout. He wanted to see what those lips looked like wrapped around his cock. “I’m not going to bend over.”

“Wouldn’t want you to,” the guy replied with a sniff, blue eyes dropping to momentarily study the grass before returning to Evan’s.

“That right?” he questioned, moderately surprised. Mr. Ready To Hook Up seemed to be tough as fuck, with his sleeve tattoos and muscular biceps that were perfectly displayed in his gray sleeveless shirt. Evan knew it was a stereotype that men who exclusively took cock were soft, but in his experience, more often than not, they had been. He’d fucked a variety of guys, and there was always some negotiating between him and a dude who was versatile. This hot motherfucker was clearly a power bottom, a fact that had Evan’s cock standing up to take notice.

“Need me to spell it out for you, Daywalker?” he huffed, eyebrows raised in challenge.

Evan shook his head and self-consciously ran his fingers through his red hair. “So you want to go—” he began.

The guy interrupted by saying, “Show me what you got.”

Without wasting another second, Evan tossed his cigarette to the ground and unzipped the fly of his jeans, arching his back enough to shimmy them, along with his boxer briefs, down his thighs so his hard cock could spring out. Instinctively, he moved a hand down to the shaft and started to pump it.

Blue eyes observed every stroke as full lips smacked subconsciously. “Yeah, I want to fuck,” the guy stated, seemingly impressed by what Evan was working with. Wordlessly, the hot-as-shit motherfucker stood up and started walking, leaving Evan scrambling to get his pants up so he could follow.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

This is an incredibly dark and angsty story about two men from rival street gangs who fall hard for each other. It’s told against an urban backdrop of poverty, addiction, and crime. And while their gang activities remain both dangerous and monotonous, Jackson and Evan find themselves changing as an anonymous chance hook-up turns into something more.

The best part of this story is the evolving relationship between Jackson and Evan. The connection is quietly transformative. The secrecy and danger makes the intimacy more important and their ugly realities make their passion more vibrant. They are beautiful together and the sex is incredible.

Jackson is a high ranking, experienced gangbanger. He is cold and he is street hard and as readers, we watch him commit unthinkable crimes without hesitation. Ethan is new to his gang. He’s a junkie. He’s an artist and he was homeless from the age of seventeen. Personally, I wanted to know more about them as individuals beyond their urban poverty and beyond their gang aleigences – but we don’t really get to see their hopes and dreams in a way that would connect readers to them more intimately.

It took me a while to get into this book. The start was a little bit confusing with too many characters introduced too quickly. The actual pacing of this book is erratic and there isn’t a central storyline beyond the romance to drive the storyline. For me, the ending was also too quick – I feel like I deserved a bit more hope and a tiny bit more joy after slogging through the darker parts of this book.

Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks to read and review for this tour.