Sunday, December 17, 2017

Welcome Home, Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth – Stocking Stuffers

Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.

Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride.

The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.

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Day 17
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

This is a sweet story about finding love again. Clay and Daniel had a great "relationship" while they were both serving. However, when Clay is injured and watches his fellow brothers die in front of him, he can't really handle the guilt and stress and turns to drugs and addiction. He wants Daniel to follow him home and for them to be together. Daniel just isn't ready for that type of relationship. However, they both handle their separation poorly.

Years later, when Daniel has tried to be a family man and is happy to have a child, but is divorced, he finds himself talking with Clay again, with the help of social media. Clay has always been the more impulsive of the two and sets out to see Daniel – if only to clear the air.

They find their way back to talking about what was and both apologize for what could have been. However, I never really felt that they had great chemistry. They were more friends who were comfortable with each other, and because of that, thought a relationship could be nice. This had potential to be much more, but just didn't really deliver for me.

I love romantic Christmas novellas, as they bring all the magic and excitement of Christmas to life with plenty of heartwarming passion.

This is a very sweet story in many ways – with a questionably magical start. However, there are some quite difficult twists in the pasts of these two men. That they still feel so strongly about each other after 25 years apart is testament to the enduring nature of one's first true love. I am sure that many people think about the one who got away, yet Clay feels it is time to meet the man he loved so long ago.

For a short story, there are some really fun little details, like the woodland creatures featuring on Daniel's towels; the making of proper shaped cookies, rather than just blobs; and we will never know just who the truck driver was...

A different take on a festive relationship.

DEANNA WADSWORTH might be a best-selling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and will often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes quiet times in her garden when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships has always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: Welcome Home, Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth to read and review.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

An Unexpected Sanctuary by Cassie Decker – Stocking Stuffers

An aggressive super-flu pandemic wipes out a majority of the population over the course of one Christmas holiday—and brings Tobin and Kyle together. For almost a year, they’ve been trekking across the country from Colorado toward a sanctuary in upstate New York. Kyle’s survival skills have kept them alive, and Tobin wants to repay the man he loves with a very special gift of his own making. He sneaks off in search of the last few pieces… only to get himself and Kyle kidnapped by a desperate stranger. With their journey to New York on hold—possibly indefinitely—they’ll need to accept that home isn’t always defined by a place as much as the person you’re with.

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Day 16
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I’m ashamed to say that I put off reading this story until I absolutely had to. This was a shame because I actually quite enjoyed An Unexpected Sanctuary. Now why did I wait? Honestly, I had a difficult time reconciling a post-apocalyptic story with a holiday romance. Yet Decker pulled it off wonderfully.

The story is told from Kyle’s perspective and it’s apparent that there’s a bit of hero worship on his part for Tobin. That’s not to say that his feelings for Tobin aren’t real, but rather that he sees an imbalance in their relationship, believing himself to be the weaker partner, unable to contribute in a meaningful and measurable way to their relationship. Like most nerdy geeks in romances, he sees his lack of physical strength and his failures as outweighing his intelligence and successes. Because of this, he takes a major risk when he ventures out on his own at night to acquire the last few pieces he needs to finish the gift he’s been making for Tobin. Unfortunately, this decision makes it easier for him and Tobin to be captured… and this is where I worried that the story would take the dark turn that is typical of post-apocalyptic stories. Thankfully, their kidnapper’s motives were not nefarious and (without revealing any spoilers) Kyle and Tobin find their unexpected sanctuary.

I think the main reason I enjoyed this story so much was that when the moment was right, Tobin had no problem telling Kyle why he mattered – why it was Kyle who gave Tobin a reason to keep going every day. I liked that the traits that Kyle saw as his weaknesses were the very things that Tobin saw as Kyle’s strengths. It made for a very touching scene. I thoroughly enjoyed An Unexpected Sanctuary and finished the story with a smile on my face.

CASSIE DECKER has been a writer most of her life, but only started writing love stories once she read her first romance novel in high school and fell in love with falling in love. After graduating college and entering the corporate workforce, she realized sharing those stories with her friends and coworkers wasn’t as scary as she thought it would be. She found rather quickly how much they enjoyed her steamy yet sweet tales of love and passion when they kept asking for more.

When she’s not writing, Cassie enjoys getting her geek on by making cosplay costumes, going to comic-cons, and drawing fan art of her favorite characters. Besides being a total nerd, she likes to knit, read, binge-watch the shows on her streaming list, and practice her ukulele if she can find the time. Cassie also loves playing in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and her corgi pup, Murphy, when she’s not busy obsessing over the fictional men plotting their love stories in her head.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: An Unexpected Sanctuary by Cassie Decker to read and review.

Operation Green Card by G.B. Gordon

Arkady Izmaylov is a family man. He’s also gay. In Russia. His sister Natalya has been telling him to get out for years, but it’s only after an attack in the street that he finally concedes and says yes to her desperate plan of him marrying a stranger for a green card.

Jason Cooley was taught from birth that he’s no good to anyone. Then the military taught him he was good enough to save other lives, but that purpose got amputated along with his leg. He’s now working security at Wolf’s Landing and sending monthly checks to his ex for their daughter’s education. When Natalya asks him to marry her brother, Jason knows right away he’ll do it more for the mission than the money she’s offering. But when he actually meets Arkady, his mission turns complicated.

Jason quickly discovers he’s not as straight as he thought. He’s also the man of Arkady’s dreams. Arkady must convince Jason that he’s worth loving, and that Arkady won’t disappear from his life like everyone else. Because Arkady has always wanted a family of his own, and he’s not letting go of this one.

The Bluewater Bay stories can be read in any order — jump in wherever you'd like!

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Book 21
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Their fake Green Card wedding saves Arkady from homophobic abuse in Russia and allows Jason to pay his daughter’s school fees. But their pragmatic scheming falls apart when their emotions get involved.

Arkady’s situation is bleak. He has lost his job and his life is at risk in Russia. At the start, he is a complicated, damaged man whose fear is palpable. I’m not sure there is enough continuity with his character. I feel like his transition to American life is far too easy and he almost instantly loses his identity as a Russian and a lit professor. I’ve been an expat for a long time and I don’t know anyone, anywhere who has adapted to a new culture so quickly or easily. He uses an American vernacular immediately and becomes quite a bland character by the midpoint.

Jason also had my interest at the start. He’s an intense veteran who keeps his distance from people and keeps his emotions tightly locked away. But again, he also becomes quite bland by the midpoint and we don’t see him work through his issues before he is able to commit to a lifetime with Arkady. We’re given hints about his military experiences at the start, but this isn’t ever explored later in the story.

Neither Jason nor Arkady is a talker. They are both former soldiers who have learned to hide themselves behind protective silence. This makes for great broody Alpha characters, but it doesn’t necessarily make for an easy romantic connection. We learn about the men and their relationship from their own (fairly limited) inner monologues and from other characters’ insights and observations. The problem is the timeframe. It’s hard to believe that these two apparently know and love each other after only a few days together when the don’t seem to manage talking to each other very well.

I’m a little bit conflicted about this story. In some ways, it all happens too fast and I struggled to understand how the lust connection between Arkady and Jason would translate into a lifetime commitment. On the other hand, the whole point of this story is their whirlwind fake romance unexpectedly becoming something real. I want to believe in the magic but I’m not sure I’m completely convinced.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Romance
Triggers: Homophobia

Hmmm... where to start? I didn't really connect at all with either of these characters. It felt super rushed and stunted all at the same time.

Arkady is living a life he wishes he wasn't. He lost his job due to his sexual orientation and is struggling to make ends meet. He knows that he needs a change, but he is not too sure how or where that change is going to happen. When his sister calls with a possible solution, Arkady thinks about it briefly and then jumps.

Jason is an ex-soldier who had an injury that left him feeling a little angry. He lost a lot in the war and hasn't really been interested in a lot since then. He works himself to death and sometimes finds time to hang out with co-workers, but overall, he's a loner. Despite having a daughter from a previous hookup, he doesn't really have a lot to do with his family. He does, however, want to help his daughter attend a school for the gifted, so he wants more hours and to work even more. When a co-worker approaches him with a solution to his money issues, he warily accepts the offer.

These two have almost no chemistry. It is a struggle because they also are not very talkative and for the most part, we infer a lot in this story. Arkady and Jason's relationship is supposed to be a whirlwind relationship so that Arkady can stay, but this lacked a lot of development for me.

Overall, this was just a "meh" story.

Operation Green Card is a bit contrived. It gives us a fake marriage of a gay guy with a supposedly straight man. But once you get past that it is a good story, although not always easy. Jason is difficult and closed off. Even when the story is being told from Jason's point of view I felt like I wasn't getting to know him very well. In fact, I felt I learned more about him through Arkady's eyes.

Getting Jason and Arkady from a fake couple to friends to friends with occasional benefits to a genuine couple was tough on my heart at times. Jason has a very low opinion of himself and is so afraid of being hurt that he makes it hard for Arkady. And Arkady is open, friendly, and so brave, having left his life in Russia behind to start over in the US, I thought he didn't deserve the crap Jason was dishing out.

Arkady and Jason's struggles are worth it and ultimately, their story is quite beautiful and it left me happy in the end.

Oddly enough, Operation Green Card is the second green card marriage book I’ve read this weekend, with the other being a M/F romance. But despite sharing a trope, the stories were nothing alike and there was no déjà vu feeling, thankfully. And fortunately for me, I found the author’s tale of a fake relationship becoming real to be a delightful read. My apologies for my rather disjointed review.

As a fan of the Bluewater Bay series whose schedule has prevented me from reading the last few releases, I was pleased to get to curl up with Gordon’s latest contribution. My pleasure increased once Natalya entered the picture and pitched her rather desperate idea for getting her brother safely out of Russia and to America before his homosexuality got him killed. Natalya’s character is one I’ve enjoyed seeing in several stories in the series and I could sympathize with her fear for her brother’s life. It made her proposal to Jason understandable, just as Jason’s desire to help others – first his daughter and later Natalya’s brother – makes his eventual acceptance of her proposal believable.

I appreciated that Gordon included Jason’s memories from his time in the service to show that his attraction to Arkady wasn’t a new facet to his personality. Showing his past attractions to men made Jason’s decision to make their marriage “real” a natural progression. But a natural progression doesn’t necessarily mean a smooth one, and Jason’s poor self-worth and fear of loved ones deserting him means that Arkady has to fight Jason for their future together. Thankfully, Arkady has the same persistent spirit his sister does and is willing to take the hits necessary to win his man.

I also liked how the author used the couple’s problems as a way for Arkady to develop his own identity outside of the marriage. Rather than being relegated to the position of house spouse, Arkady formed friendships with other Russian immigrants, tutored a new friend’s daughter, and made a business contact that gave him the opportunity to push Jason into a new career – one that had the potential to improve Jason’s vision of himself. More importantly, Arkady’s natural ease when interacting with Jason’s daughter was heartwarming to see and painted a picture of a future they could have as a family, a picture that Jason really needed to see. I enjoyed my return to Bluewater Bay, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, and Operation Green Card was an entertaining addition to the series.

G.B. Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing.

Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Operation Green Card (Bluewater Bay #21) by G.B. Gordon to read and review.

Exchange by Bailey Bradford

What’s a sub to do when the Dom he wants looks dejected? Hank’s about to find out as soon as he works up the nerve to approach Master Thomas.

Hank has watched and wanted Master Thomas for a long time. When Master Thomas’ sub leaves him looking dejected, Hank wants to take a chance. Fear holds him back until his friend prompts him to take action and be more forward than he’s ever been before.

Thomas isn’t broken-hearted, but his pride sure took a hit. He’s sitting in the club, doubting himself, as his ex-sub is acting more like a Dom than not.

Then a sub wearing white leather approaches Thomas with some goading from a friend. Thomas has noticed Hank before, but the timing was never right for them to connect—until now.

With one daring move by a sub who knows Doms are only human, the future suddenly looks brighter than Thomas had hoped it could be.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and reedited for release with Pride Publishing.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Romance BDSM

Master Thomas has just ended a contract and the manner in which it was ended has him questioning himself. He knows that he hasn't been in the lifestyle very long, however, he wishes that he had a connection with someone as deep as he sees around him.

Then you have a sub who has been in the lifestyle a while and wants a deeper connection. Hank has been crushing on Master Thomas for a while, but the timing never seemed right. He wants to make Master Thomas feel better – seeing him look so sad hurts Hank.

These two together is explosive because both are mature enough to know what they want, to ask and to take. Despite the short length of this story, I felt their connection. I hope that more is to come from this series as I would love to see their connection grow and deepen.

I'm a sucker for m/m BSDM stories and Exchange is just enough to me to satisfy my appetite and enjoy a really hot scene without me needing to invest too much time.

Sub Hank has been interested in Master Thomas for year and now Master Thomas is single and, at the urging of a friend, he makes his approach. Both Thomas and Hank are looking for a serious relationship built on trust and honesty and they find each other at just the right time in their lives. It is quite sweet really.

Exchange is short and sexy and I loved it.

This is the first book in a new series, and though it is short, it gives a reasonable background to the club and some of the men in it. For some reason it seems rather small and low key, but maybe as we meet more of the members it will open out further.

Both of the leads are given a voice, which means that we learn about their ongoing interest in each other and how strongly their desires mesh. We really only get edited highlights, but from the scene they do it is clear that their needs can be met in this burgeoning relationship.

I am curious to how future stories develop.

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Exchange (Power #1) by Bailey Bradford to read and review.

Sophie by JP Barnaby in the Survivor Stories Bundle

It’s amazing how a single word from a tiny girl can change your life.

Spencer Thomas’s world turns upside down when his beloved Nell dies and leaves custody of her three-year-old daughter to him. Her “Spenna” comes when Sophie needs him most, but his boyfriend, Aaron, can’t be a parent. He just can’t. Neither of them expected a baby to fall into the lives they’d finally just settled.

When Nell’s ex comes to claim Sophie, Aaron needs to make a decision: man up or walk away as Spencer faces the fight of his life.

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Book 5
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Also Available in Survivor Stories

Buy Links

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

This is a sweet story about unconditional love, healing love, and finding a center that will allow goodness back in to a life.

Aaron is unsure what to think when his boyfriend, Spencer, suddenly becomes a guardian to his niece, Sophie. She's young, sad, and missing her mom, and Spencer is doing all that he can to ensure that she has a smooth transition.

Aaron feels that he's losing Spencer to someone who he knows is helpless, but with his own anxiety, he can't help but feel he's being replaced.

This is a story about Spencer and Aaron finding a balance that will allow them to continue to develop their own relationship, but with the added pressure of being dads too. Aaron has a lot of soul searching to do – can he really let someone else in?

I enjoyed this story despite it being, what I felt, was a lot of Aaron whining and crying about Spencer's non-choice. I thought that I got to see Spencer grow up a lot in this story.

Overall, this was a sweet ending to this series.

JP BARNABY, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro, who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge-watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of sci-fi and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Sophie (Survivor Stories #5) by JP Barnaby in the Survivor Stories bundle to read and review.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Grace by C.L. Miles – Stocking Stuffers

Christmas has been a lonely time of year for Aaron since losing his family fifteen years ago. But now he’s seeing Craig, and though Aaron is sure they belong together, both have been hurt in the past, so they’re taking things slowly. So far, Craig has been supportive of Aaron’s struggles with anxiety—struggles that cost Aaron relationships in the past.

On Christmas Eve, Aaron is closing his bookshop when Craig surprises him with a specially planned evening. Will this be the night they take that final step and deepen their physical relationship? Aaron hopes so, but things aren’t that simple. Craig has been keeping a secret…. Can Aaron take his place as part of a family again and accept the love he’s missed for so long—or will he find that some deceptions are too big to be forgiven, even with the help of some Christmas grace?

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Day 15
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆
2.5 stars
M/M Holiday Romance

This is a short story about love, painful pasts, and whether or not love overcomes all.

Aaron and Craig have been dating for a while now – nine months. It seems like a long time to be together and never having gone to the other's house. They almost always were staying at Aaron's. Now, if I were Aaron, I would find this suspicious; however, he thinks it's just the way it is. Maybe it was due to his anxiety, but that's not really how it felt.

Then you have Craig. Despite wanting to have a relationship, it seems that he doesn't really know that meaning since he doesn't really share his life with Aaron. When his secret is revealed, it's both shocking and predictable.

Overall, this just didn't work for me. It was a lot of drama with not a lot of development.

C.L. MILES has lived in the suburbs surrounding the City of Montreal, Canada, her entire life. Currently, she resides in a quiet town about an hour outside the city where she enjoys gardening and swimming in the summer and hibernating in the winter. She shares her home with her wonderful husband who supports her in everything she does, no matter how crazy it may be. She loves a variety of music and is an avid reader of many different genres. If you don’t find her writing, she usually has her nose buried in a book or is hanging out with her laptop, blogging or chatting with online friends.

C.L. began writing slash fiction in 2001, but only after much encouragement from a good friend. It didn’t take long before she realized how much she enjoyed creating her own stories. At the beginning of 2010, she decided to try her hand at m/m romance writing and fell head-over-heels in love with it. A seed was firmly planted, and a dream of becoming a published author took flight. She never thought writing that first story all those years ago would lead her to where she is today. Dreams really can come true!

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: Christmas Grace by C.L. Miles to read and review.

No Reservations by Kristen Proby Blog Tour

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a new story in her Fusion series…

Chase MacKenzie is not the man for Maura Jenkins. A self-proclaimed life-long bachelor, and unapologetic about his distaste for monogamy, a woman would have to be a masochist to want to fall into Chase’s bed.

And Maura is no masochist.

Chase has one strict rule: no strings attached. Which is fine with Maura because she doesn’t even really like Chase. He’s arrogant, cocky, and let’s not forget bossy. But when he aims that crooked grin at her, she goes weak in the knees. Not that she has any intentions of falling for his charms.

Definitely not.

Well, maybe just once…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Book 4.5
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Once we’ve caught our breath, he pushes up on his arms, taking his weight off of me, and smiles down at me.

“Well, that was fun.”

“Definitely fun,” I reply with a nod, then wiggle out from under him and flip on the lamp next to the bed. I blink rapidly in the light and glance at him. He’s watching me, still kneeling in the middle of the bed, breathing hard. “I’m not staying.”

“I figured,” he says and rolls off the bed, pads into the bathroom, flushes the toilet, and returns to find me pulling on my clothes. “You don’t have to leave right now.”

Oh yes. I do.

“I should,” I reply, doing my best to seem very nonchalant. “I have plans in the morning.”

He nods. “I’ll take you home then.”

“Great plan, since I don’t have a car and it’s practically the middle of the night.”

“Or midnight.” He smirks and pulls on a pair of jeans. He doesn’t button them, or add a shirt, and instead stands there with his arms folded over his chest, watching me tug the skirt down my legs.

I can’t find my panties, and I refuse to ask for them, so I’ll just consider them a loss.

Five minutes later, we’re back in his sexy car and headed toward my condo.

“This won’t happen again,” I inform him, breaking the silence.

“No, ma’am.”

“We irritate the sh*t out of each other.”

He sighs deeply and mutters “that’s the truth” under his breath.

“So even if the chemistry is there, we won’t do this again.”

“Good plan.”

I nod and hold my pinky out to him. “Pinky swear.”

“I’m not a twelve-year-old girl.”

“No, you’re not,” I agree with a laugh. “But now I feel silly, so just do it.”

He links his pinky with mine and then pulls my hand to his mouth, kissing my knuckles.

“This is how the f*cking gets started.”

“No, sweetheart, the f*cking got started months ago.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

Whew! This is a steamy, short read that will have the pages burning up!

Maura and Chase are opposites that find themselves being drawn together. This series is so much fun and I loved reading this snippet.

This is a fast read, but a lot is going on. The way that Chase and Maura interact is genuine and steamy. Their dialogue is what gives this story the sweet yet romantic and steamy vibe.

I love reading about all of these women and even though this is short, this didn't disappoint!

I can't wait to read more!

I am a big fan of the Fusion series so was delighted to get a chance to review this latest addition. As always, Ms. Proby delivers a fun, flirty, and super sexy read.

It was great to catch up with Kat and Mac, and Thomas was a shadowy, but integral part to the story.

The teasing, cheeky banter between Chase and Maura is fun to read, and the chemistry between them is clearly combustible. But actually, it is a night of truth and dare which reveals their honest selves, and they find that they share a fundamental truth. If we ever doubted that they were meant for each other, that moment is key.

If you enjoy intelligent, sexy, and fun characters and happy endings (and really, who doesn’t?), then this is for you!

Also Available in the Fusion Series

Book 4
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on The Beauty of Us Blog Tour.

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of No Reservations (Fusion #4.5) by Kristen Proby to read and review for this tour.

Inseparable by Sloan Johnson Blog Tour

Trevor and Gabe never knew life without the other. As only children, they grew up as close as brothers, but their love grew to something more. Something they couldn't talk about because their parents wouldn't understand.

Gabe is gay and unapologetic about his sexuality. He refuses to live his life in the shadows, but that doesn't mean he isn't harboring secrets.

Trevor is his parents’ miracle child and he doesn’t want to hurt them. Coming out, admitting he's in love with Gabe, could ruin everything.

Heading off to college was supposed to finally free them to be together, but nothing is as easy as it seems. Can they find a way to navigate this new world, living and loving openly?

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sloan Johnson has quickly turned into one of my go-to m/m authors. Her stories are gripping and emotional with just the right mix of sexy. Once I got my hands on Inseparable, I finished it in one sitting. I had to know what was going to happen between Trevor and Gabe!

Trevor and Gabe are best friends. They grew up together and fell in love. Going to the same college and living in the same dorm is going to be the time they need to finally be together without sneaking around. They are both tired of hiding who they are to each other. But all the big dreams they had of what college was going to be like are diminished when they find out it's nothing like they were expecting.

Inseparable is about fighting for that person that makes your heart skip a beat. I loved Gabe and Trevor, it's the perfect story of finding themselves and finding out how to live in their new reality.

And of course, Ms. Johnson pulls no punches with the heartstrings in this one!!

3.5 Stars

Inseparable is the short journey between a pair of best friends who've known each other inside and out since birth. Their families are close, mothers especially, and they've kept their relationship a secret as they ended their high school career.

With the escape of college, Gabe and Trevor are rooming together, finally taking their relationship to the next level. Gabe is an open book to Trevor, a heart-on-the-sleeve type of guy, whereas Trevor is terrified to come out, leaving Gabe to feel as if he's a dirty secret to be kept behind the locked door of a closet.

Sugary sweet, the entire time I was reading, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop into angsty drama territory, because the novel was always on a romance high, from start to finish. The same feel from page one until nearly the end, the only conflict self-created.

For readers looking for an easy, quick read, wanting a book that doesn't stress them out, never fear – other than an irrational miscommunication scene, with Trevor's fear causing him to keep their relationship in neutral, don't worry something major is going to leap out at you from the pages.

Inseparable was a romantic read, between a pair of best friends, navigating a new world.

Another great story by Sloan Johnson. This book just made my heart melt. Trevor and Gabe had one heck of a ride. We saw all the ups and downs that happen in all relationships, and how to get through it all and still come out on the other end. I loved these guys and their story. I would think this would be a good book for young adults to read as well.

This is a sweet and angsty story about two best friends starting their first year of college together. Gabe and Trevor grew up together. Their families are inseparable and somewhere along the way they fell in love with each other.

At its best, this story captures some of the magic of first love and some of the anxieties faced by the two boys as they start adulting and adjusting to life on their own. These two are sweet and at times they struggle to find space to develop as individuals while nurturing their relationship. But this is a slow story and there is far more angst than the situations probably merited.

At times, this story felt like a parent’s slightly wishful take on the college freshman experience. Trevor and Gabe’s sexual boundaries and hang-ups really didn’t make sense to me. They are lifetime BFFs who are constantly anxious about going too far and moving too fast. It didn’t feel terribly realistic. These two are far too chaste and way too involved with their parents. Teenage boys like Trevor and Gabe might exist – but I’ve never met any. As the story progressed, I found their sexual boundaries and hang-ups pretty irritating.

This is a low heat romance that reads more like a young adult book than a new adult book. Gabe and Trevor feel really young and their helicopter parents are always a little bit too involved in their college lives.

3.5 stars of inseparability

This is the perfect read for the end of a long or difficult week. It is soft and loving and brings all the warm feelings that a longtime friendship can, as well as the usual run of ups and downs. The abiding knowledge that they have of everything about each other is reassuring and romantic.

It is so usual in a romance that there is a point where it could all go terribly wrong, that I kept waiting for it to happen – and as the pages counted down, I started to believe that it didn't need a major drama, and was happy that in the end, the title was exactly what they achieved.

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Inseparable (Port Java #1) by Sloan Johnson to read and review for this tour.