Monday, June 26, 2017

Seduced by the Tide by Sean Michael

Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

Deke has yet to meet a man who gives him a rush. Coast Guard rescue has kept the dragon shifter busy, but there's no harder work than finding a mate. Then comes Bryan. Bearded and inked, the personal trainer turned mechanic smells of grease, sweat and red meat. How irresistibly human can you get? And when it comes to hot, slamming sex, they're the perfect fit. Now all Deke has to do is to tell Bryan what he really is, and what he has planned for them.

Bryan has never met anyone like Deke, a consuming lover with a body so arousing it damn near hurts. And he knows how to use every inch of it. Yet he can't shake the feeling that Deke is hiding something. Just not this—the stud he's falling for is a centuries-old dragon who has marked him as a mate.

Bryan has to admit that something inside him is changing. For the first time ever, he's satisfied, body and soul. If Deke really is telling the truth, this could be his destiny—if he's ready to face it.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

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Book 2
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Carina Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I will admit I am a HUGE Sean Michael fan, not sure there isn't a book that I haven't liked. However, I freaking LOVE this series and I am not really into the whole paranormal/shifter thing. I loved the first book and couldn't wait until the next one was out, and now that I am done with the second one I need the third one ASAP!!!! We met Bryan in the first book, he is Shae's best friend and neighbor. When Shae's boyfriend Jake's brother Deke comes for a visit, it is instant attraction. The chemistry is off the chart and you can feel the sizzle on the pages. Deke's elemental power is water and, of course, he works for the Coast Guard. Bryan doesn't have a lot of experience with men, especially good experience, but Deke takes care of that right away. There is so much sex and feelings that I devoured the book in one sitting. There is a little angst, but not much and it is due to the bond that Deke didn't know he started. I was hoping that we would find out something more about Bryan's missing brother from his childhood. I hope eventually that will be addressed in some way in future books, I would love for him to be alive and well with his merman. Oh, and I also hope that we get a book about the tattoo artist who is putting all these tattoos on the Beteferoce brothers’ mates. Great series, hits all my buttons!

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

Bryan was seen in the previous book. He is Shae's good friend and neighbor. They have a great relationship, but we know that Shae belongs with Jake. What we don't know is whether or not Deke will find a mate in Bryan.

When Deke sees Bryan, there is instant chemistry. Both are attracted to each other and when they get together, there is definite chemistry. Sparks fly and hearts grow. Deke is a Coast Guard because his element is water. Of course, I wish that we would have seen more of him in his job, but Bryan calls.

Bryan is a mechanic who had a tough upbringing. He had to hide himself until he was able to get out. He also had to overcome being institutionalized along with the loss of his brother. Shae is probably his closest friend, but even with Shae's input, Bryan has a very difficult time understanding and believing what Deke is.

When the bond begins, both Deke and Bryan have to figure out a way to complete it. Deke has to convince Bryan and Bryan just has to accept it. I did feel that Bryan's issues were kind of annoying, but understood them.

I do hope that we get to see whether or not his family is out there, and I can't wait to see the other brothers. These books are magical in their ability to bring you with them while they fly and connect.

Also Available in the Dragon Soul Series

Book 1
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Carina Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Branded by Flames post.

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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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Seduced by the Tide (Dragon Soul #2) by Sean Michael to read and review.

Slim Chance by Jeff Erno

Can a man improve his appearance without losing everything good inside him?

Oliver has always been obese and suffered from a negative body image. He’s tried diets before, failing time after time, but he vows this time will be different. As he begins an exercise program, his confidence increases—and so does his interest in his friend and coworker Benjy. Though they bonded long ago over a love of online gaming, it takes a lot of courage for Oliver to share his new body and be intimate with another man.

A passionate romance blooms, but as Oliver nears his goal, it seems he doesn’t need Benjy—with his chronic anxiety and troubled past—now that he’s made attractive new friends at the gym. But not all relationships are equal, and Oliver realizes that Benjy, who loved and supported him when no one else did, is more than a reminder of his old life.

A pleasing appearance means nothing when it hides a lonely, empty heart, and if Oliver cannot decide what’s truly important, he’ll lose what he cherishes most.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is going to be a difficult review to write, not only due to the content, but the way it was written and the focus it held. I apologize in advance for not writing a smooth review, where I just state my overall thoughts.

There are some topics you can't write unless you've been there. I have no idea if the author struggles with their weight, but I don't think it would be possible to write a more accurate representation of the toxic inner monologue most overweight people have constantly streaming inside their minds. I can't speak for 'most,' but I can for myself and family members who struggle with this same damaging thought process. It was as if Jeff Erno was revealing a family member's mind to me.

Weight isn't just about physical size, and it takes a lot of soul-searching to 'grow up' emotionally enough to realize the world doesn't revolve around you, and all eyes aren't on you – judging you. This same thinking goes for a lot of disabilities/insecurities. People really don't care – they're going about their days, and we need to go about ours. Easier said than done.

Oliver has struggled all his life with his weight, and it's infected his entire being, especially emotionally and mentally. Slim Chance is his journey losing weight while finding love, yet most of the book is Oliver's war within himself.

To be honest, I'm not sure readers will be able to connect to Oliver, or be able to easily fall into the story if they themselves haven't experienced the problems faced by being overweight or had someone close to them deal with it. A naturally thin or fit person may become frustrated by Oliver's negative voice, unable to find enjoyment, but it would surely educate to show how the other half lives, maybe empathizing to the point bullying and 'funny' comments were no longer used. It's not funny – only small minds would think lowering a demographic of living, breathing beings is humorous.

Oliver's inner voice is difficult to listen to, page after page, and this is being said by someone who has thought some of the same things, but was able to recognize how toxic and irrational it was. There is something abusive about Oliver, not only to himself, but to everyone around him. So while I applaud the author for being beyond real in the characterization, I personally didn't like Oliver as a 'person.' It had nothing to do with his struggles, or the very real thoughts placed upon the pages, and I could identify with his struggle and the steps to losing weight and keeping it off, but I couldn't connect due to Oliver's lack of empathy, self-reflection, or the ability to see the world outside of himself.

Oliver made everything about him, and I realize the book is 'his' book, but it was a narcissistic personality, where he was placing his view of himself as the lens everyone sees him with, when that is not true. He was unable to see anything, to hear the voice of reason, or see the world with a different lens. Zero empathy. However realistic, in reality, I couldn't have held a five-minute conversation with Oliver, as his only focus was himself. Always. About everything. His view was the only view, and it was borderline abusive to those around him.

The gym bunnies – Oliver was no different, bullying himself and everyone else around him. So while I felt disgusted with the gym bunnies, knowing how demoralizing it makes a person feel – able to empathize with Oliver – Oliver didn't learn anything from it, didn't realize what he does to himself was no different, or how he was treating Benjy. Instead, he allowed vain, vapid, false confidence to be an ego boost. Mixed with his narcissistic, abusive personality, that made him weaker as a person in my eyes. None of this had anything to do with his weight, or the earned pride from losing so much and working so hard at the gym, and everything to do with a toxic personality.

While changing physically, I felt Oliver was never in a place mentally and emotionally for me to buy into the romance, and it made my heart hurt for Benjy. Oliver may have changed the outside package, but the inside was more so tainted than before, which is an accurate representation. I was relieved the author added how therapy would be sought. It was necessary.

Benjy was too sweet, with his own problems, a giver, and it hurt to read, because I recognized the precursors to abuse and the imbalance of power in the relationship. If Oliver's thinking doesn't change, if his therapy doesn't affect his outlook, I won't say the relationship is doomed – Benjy is doomed.

I connected with the story to the point I was able to make the characters 'human,' so I apologize for not just writing a review, but instead wrote about Oliver's toxic dynamic, both with himself and everyone else.

Very real. Very true-to-life. I applaud the author on creating a realistically flawed character, with spot-on emotions and mental signature, who is a representation of a vast majority of people on this planet. However, this didn't lend well to romance. Not that he and everyone else doesn't deserve it, but that Oliver still wasn't in a good place inside his own head not to take advantage and harm his partner.

*I'm not ripping the character apart – Oliver was so real, I could see him reflected in a loved one of mine, and it frustrated me because I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of such a personality. So kudos for the realism.

Possible trigger: cheating.

As I was reading, a felt a desire to have Devon voice a story. Jeff Erno, if you're reading this – and believe me, I know how annoying it is when a reader 'requests' things – if you hadn't thought about that, here is one reader who would be eager to read Devon's story. The gym bunny seemed to have something riding beneath the surface.

Jeff Erno is a gay man who writes gay-themed fiction. His stories include m/m romances, young adult themes, BDSM, paranormal & sci-fi, and mysteries. Jeff Erno grew up in rural northern-Michigan and is very much a country boy at heart. He came out as gay in his early twenties and began writing gay-themed stories in the late 1990s. Initially he wrote for his own enjoyment, then one day posted some of his work on a free amateur website. The positive feedback he received spurred him to continue. By the time he received his first publishing contract, he'd completed four novel-length stories. Many of Jeff's stories are set in his small, northern-Michigan hometown, Boyne City. He's passionate about combating teen bullying and LGBT homelessness. He loves decorating cakes, cooking, crafts, and PFLAG. And he's never written a story without a happy ending.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Slim Chance by Jeff Erno to read and review.

Complications by MJ Williamz

In this sequel to Escapades, Mel O’Brien has a string of bad luck with women but is determined to take another chance with Susan Maloney who’s new to the women’s community in which Mel lives. Susan Maloney moved to Maybon Tir looking for a new start after a bad breakup. She is determined to stay single and happy.

Things seem to be going Mel’s way until Susan’s ex, Dorinda, shows up in town, determined to take Susan back. Will Mel be able to win Susan’s heart? Or will she crash and burn once again?

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Bold Strokes Books

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a slow, angsty romance with a whole lot of sex. Seriously – how much sex can one woman have? Anyways. I was caught by the beautiful cover and quickly intrigued by Mel and Susan’s women-only beach town in California.

Mel is an interesting character – a womanising legend who works construction during the day and spends the rest of her time surfing and picking up women. While we see glimpses of a personality when she interacts with her friends and her best friend’s son, I never felt like I properly connected with her. Too much of her character development is done through flirtation and sex and I didn’t feel there was much depth to her character.

Susan bored me from the start. She doesn’t know herself, she’s angsting over an abusive ex-girlfriend, and she comes across as rude and abrasive. She doesn’t seem to have any interests, she’s fallen into a job… the woman is just plain boring. And don’t get me started on her relationship with her ex. Urgh.

There is enough graphic sex in this story to push it into erotica territory but it somehow lacks the heat of good erotica. The combination of tedious angsty dating drama and constant sex didn’t work well for me. The only time Susan stopped whinging and Mel stopped fussing was when they were shagging.

Most of my complaints are probably personal preference. I need a bit more action and a little more character development in a book. The cover also had me expecting some surfing drama and not a slow romance.

MJ Williamz was raised on California’s central coast, which she left at age seventeen to pursue an education. She graduated from Chico State, and it was in Chico that she rediscovered her love of writing. It wasn’t until she moved to Portland, however, that her writing really took off, with the publication of her first short story in 2003.

MJ is the author of eleven books, including three Goldie Award winners. She has also had over thirty short stories published, most of them erotica with a few romances and a few horrors thrown in for good measure.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Complications by MJ Williamz to read and review.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Dom's Way by Sean Michael

Neal and Way from The Closet Boy are back, only now they’re Dom and sub, and exploring their relationship through the lifestyle. Way is eager to learn everything, and more in love with his master every day. For his part, Neal can’t believe how lucky he is to have found such an innocent but sensual boy.

As they learn what works best for them both, Way has trouble obeying some of the rules Neal imposes. Like the no touching himself rule. Neal wants Way to learn control, but Way, after so long holding back, has trouble not indulging. The two men must work together to find the balance that brings them each the most satisfaction and happiness.

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Book 5
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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

You really need to read The Closet Boy before reading this book, you will get so much back story to Neal and Way. I love this series and Neal and Way are such a sweet couple. Neal and Way have decided to give the Dom/sub lifestyle a try. Way is still hesitant on a lot of things even though he really loves all of them and wants more; he is just still used to his past and everything being wrong and evil. I love how patient Neal is with Way, they are so good together. In true Sean Michael style, there is tons of sex and lot and lots of love. We do get to see characters from other books as well. Sweet love story, which I devoured in a short time. Can't wait for the next book in the series.

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

Okay, so I hate to say this, but I really couldn't connect with these characters or this particular book in the series. I just never really felt that Way and Neal had a great connection.

It was a lot of sex and a lot of them talking, but I never really saw the connection that the other couples were able to achieve.

I also felt that this was very underdeveloped. I'm not sure if it was because we had seen these characters in previous books, but this was more about sex than the connection between Dom and sub.

Also Available in the Iron Eagle Gym Series

Book 3
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For reviews & more info, check out our The Luckiest Master post.

Book 4
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Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our The Closet Boy post.

A prolific author, Sean Michael takes notes dictated by the men who live in his head and shares their stories.

Often referred to as "Space Cowboy" and "Gangsta of Love" while still striving for the moniker of "Maurice," Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organising his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channelling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to "Chicago".

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He'll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Dom's Way (Iron Eagle Gym #5) by Sean Michael to read and review.

Summer Heat by Jay Northcote Blog Tour

A summer fling is an ideal cure for a broken heart. But when it’s with your best friend, things get complicated.

When Adam is dumped by his boyfriend, a week away at a beach resort seems like a great opportunity to get over his ex. Sun, sea, and no-strings sex will be just the boost he needs to move on with his life.

Adam’s best friend, Finn, agrees to accompany him at short notice. Finn’s had a crush on Adam for years, but is determined to put his feelings aside and be the perfect wingman in Adam’s time of crisis.

A spontaneous threesome with another guy forces Adam and Finn to confront their attraction to each other. Having a holiday fling together wasn’t part of the plan, and as their trip heats up, they soon realise that one night of fun won’t be enough for either of them.

The passion might be scorching, but their hearts and friendship are on the line. If their romance is going to survive the flight home, they have to be honest about what they want.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4 Steamy stars

Adam seems to put everything of himself into a relationship, until his fiancé is all he has in his life – he loses himself in the process. The catalyst for the novella is Adam's fiancé leaving him for another, younger man. To be honest, this beginning portion was written quickly, without any emotional punch, so I didn't feel much on this. But, in a way, this is a good thing. It takes the focus off the negative, and focuses on the true vibe of the story – warm and fuzzy like the sun on a summer beach.

Finn, I felt Finn more during his narration, was able to connect with him as a reader. I've walked in Adam's shoes, so I was surprised how real Finn felt by comparison. Protective, caring, only wishing Adam happiness, Finn is a solid friend and an even better potential partner.

Taking the vacation he was meant to take with his ex, Adam licks his wounds with Finn at his side, determined to forget the older man he spent the last five years with by getting laid by all the hot guys poolside.

Summer Heat was just that – HOT. Tons of sexual tension and steamy between-the-sheets action, and the friends-to-lovers storyline brought the cuddly warm and fuzzies. It's the perfect vacation read, beach escape, or your own poolside entertainment. It wasn't as heavy as some of Jay Northcote's other books, which made it an unexpected, easy read.

Slight spoiler – I need to note, since these devices may triggers some readers: cheating (not shown, or by the main couple) and ménage, featuring our budding couple with an eager pink-haired fella. That stuff floats my boat, but it may sink yours... and the rest is sweet romance.

Highly recommended as an escapism read, and I look forward to whatever Jay Northcote releases next.

This is a sweet and steamy friends-to-lovers romance. Mostly set in a gay Spanish seaside resort, the story is an easy, sexy beach read. The grit and angst I’ve come to expect in Jay Northcote’s writing has been replaced by sunshine, cocktails, and pretty boys in tiny Speedos.

Finn and Adam are easily recognisable English lads on holiday. I liked and enjoyed both of them but there wasn’t much that made either of them terribly unique or individual. The story starts with Adam’s breakup, but he seems to forget about his ex the moment he spots a group of pretty men at Heathrow. Together, Finn and Adam are wonderful. I loved their friendship and I enjoyed watching them awkwardly push the limits of their friendship into something more.

The sex in this story is hot – from vivid descriptions of bulging Speedos to a fabulous ménage scene, this is great fun in Jilly Cooper bonkbuster style.

Ultimately, there isn’t a whole lot of substance to this book, but it is a perfect cocktail in hand beach read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

Connect with Jay

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Hosted by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Summer Heat by Jay Northcote to read and review for this tour.

The Prendarian Chronicles by Doreen DeSalvo

For the Love of Rigah

She demands satisfaction...

Rigah, the most powerful woman on the world of Prendara, has purchased a handsome Earther slave to serve as her consort. He will pleasure her in every way imaginable--or die.

He vows to resist...

Jason refuses to accept his role as Rigah's personal whore. But he can't fight the passion she demands from him...or the need to demand much more than passion from her. More than she may be willing to give.

For the Heart of Daria

A human who's lived under alien domination for her entire life, Daria vows to rid Earth of the evil invaders no matter what the cost--even if it means seducing a powerful alien sympathizer.

Stunningly handsome, irresistibly charming, Gray isn't the monster she wants him to be. He saves her life...and gives her more pleasure than she ever imagined. But despite the passion he forces her to feel, she can't sacrifice her mission--and she can't tell him who she really is. He's a collaborator, and nothing will ever convince her to trust him.

She hates his people. He hates her prejudice. They don't understand each other, but they want each other with a passion that defies all reason. And with a desperate mission of his own on the line, Gray will do whatever it takes to win the heart of Daria.

Publisher's Note: Both stories in this collection were released as single titles.

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Loose Id

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 Stars

There are two stories within this one book so I'll talk about them individually.

For the Love of Rigah is about a woman who is trying to show her mother that she deserves her place as second in line to take over, since she has a sister that is determined to prove that she would be the better option.

I really liked following along as both Rigah and Jason fumbled their way through their very awkward and different situation, while dealing with an alien species that appreciates different things in life. The way that sometimes things were taken wrongly simply because one or the other didn't know how to properly express their feelings or simply by what was and wasn't important to each species.

In the end, it was lovely to see how nice things wrapped up, but it wasn't easy or so painless for the characters. It was quite wonderful.

For the Heart of Daria was the second story in the book and was the longer of the two.

I will say that I didn't quite care for the name change as it is a character that we saw in the first story, but now he goes by a different name than the one he did in the other story. I understand that it is because he is no longer a young boy and that likely plays a big part, but it still made it hard to remember sometimes who he was, but the author did a good job at reminding us of it as well.

Daria was quite the character. I felt like we really could've spend some more time learning about her life to help us relate to her since she absolutely abhors the Prendarians at the beginning of the story. However, I simply loved the way Gray fell head over heels for her because she was so different than the women he'd been around all his life. She wasn't afraid of his family and connections because she didn't know who he was (Well, he doesn't think she does).

There are definitely some twists and turns in this story that kept me wondering how on earth it was going to work out and what kind of waves were going to be caused as secrets came to light. Once again, we see love prevail, and this is a big deal when it comes to the topics and situations that are being handled in this story.

A lifelong daydreamer, Doreen DeSalvo sold her first short story at the age of eight. Her payment was a candy bar. Over thirty years later, her passion for writing—and chocolate—remain. Her work has received the National Association of Independent Publishers' Fallot Literary Award and the Doubleday Venus Book Club's Best Book of the Year award.

Connect with Doreen

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Prendarian Chronicles by Doreen DeSalvo to read and review.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Patron by C.B. Lewis

Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.

Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.

But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Some of the best stories are those that leave much to the reader’s imagination – at least to me they are. That’s exactly what Lewis has tapped into with Patron. As a teen, I was fascinated by mythology: Greek, Roman, and even some Norse for flavor – it’s not really surprising that Chris Hemsworth became one of my favorite actors simply because of his role as Thor. So upon reading the blurb for Patron, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The mere suggestion that Theodore might find himself face-to-face with an ancient god, all in the search for a patron for his studies… well, there was no way I was passing that up, especially as this is a m/m historical romance. And Lewis did not disappoint.

For those readers looking for between-the-sheets action, this is not the book for you. Theodore is a student of Greek literature and is hoping that an invitation to read a passage from the Iliad, in its original Greek, will open up avenues of study and access to collections that his lower social class does not allow. It is in a moment of weakness… folly… desperation… or perhaps acknowledgement of the gods he actually believes in (rather than the god he is expected to believe in) that he makes an offering and a plea to Hermes, patron of oratory and good luck, for his reading to go well. It goes spectacularly and Theodore soon finds himself with more invitations than he ever dreamed of, but there is one invitation that was more than he hoped for but was exactly what he wanted, and it is in the course of utilizing that particular invite that Theodore learns just how lacking his education has been – but not because of his social class, rather because of the Church’s hand in teaching abridged copies of the classic Greek texts. The more he reads and translates from the complete texts, the more his past inclinations are revived and he finds it harder and harder to deny them in light of Alexander’s attention – especially when Alexander intimates that he is receptive to Theodore.

I found Patron to be a rather seductive read. Theodore’s passion for Greek literature and mythology is conveyed so well that I was easily caught up in his excitement, his anticipation, and his worry over the discoveries he made. That it went hand in hand with his growing attraction to Alexander and his internal struggle over whether or not he could accept what Alexander was offering made it impossible for me not to be swept along with him. I felt myself being seduced by Alexander’s illicit proposal and during the final scene in the book, I was probably panting just as hard as Theodore was as the lines between reality and mythology were blurred. And while my immediate reaction when I got to the end of the story was, “NOOOOOOOOOO!”, I cannot convey how much I appreciated that the author left it where she did, allowing me to use my imagination for what comes next, because quite honestly, the ending was perfect.

C.B. LEWIS is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She has been writing and telling tales for almost as long as she can remember and has a brain that constantly fizzes with an abundance of ideas. If she’s not working on half a dozen things at once, it should be considered a slow day.

She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. A lot of the travel has also been research-based, and if pointed at any historical event, she will research it vociferously, just because she can.

Normally she is based in Edinburgh, where she tends toward the hermit lifestyle, needing nothing but a kettle, a constant supply of tea, and—of course—the Internet. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Patron by C.B. Lewis to read and review.

Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden

In this captivating standalone romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Stone Walls, Hollywood’s hottest actor meets his dream woman: a free spirit who has no idea who he is.

After personal heartbreak and professional setbacks, Landon Price is running on empty. If he doesn’t take a break from the public eye soon, he’ll risk becoming another cautionary tale in a town that’s full of them. So in between film projects, Landon asks his agent to clear his schedule and then he simply... vanishes. Renting a discreet home on a remote Hawaiian beach for the summer, Landon begins to recharge. And in the process of finding himself, he meets a beautiful, feisty local who challenges everything he thinks he knows.

Zara Jobert has no interest in being a conquest for a cocky playboy from the mainland—even one with undeniable charisma and movie-star good looks. So she’s pleasantly surprised when the handsome newcomer’s persistent advances mellow into cozy banter and a sneakily seductive intimacy. When Landon reveals his true identity, Zara’s hurt that he lied, but she doesn’t care that he’s famous. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. And falling for Landon might come with a heartbreaking choice—between Zara’s old life, and a new love.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

This is pure romantic fantasy fluff. When the world’s most famous movie star finally has enough, he hides himself away on a tiny Hawaiian island where he meets a local girl and her adorable dog.

Landon Price is a perfect romantic hero – he’s handsome, rich, and famous. Beneath the surface, he is a loyal and often lonely family man who is secretly grieving the loss of his brother. Too good to be true, he ticks all the fantasy man boxes and then some.

Zara isn’t quite as interesting. She doesn’t recognise Landon because the island she lives on has very little access to 21st century entertainment. We know she is beautiful and that family issues have made it difficult for her to chase her dreams off island. Besides a deeper understanding of her family troubles, I’m not sure we ever see anything deeper from Zara.

The relationship between Landon and Zara is predictable and sweet. The Pretty Woman moments after the identity reveal are fun but for me, the angst and conflict once their relationship is discovered made the rest of the story really drag.

This is light and superficial entertainment meant for poolside reading with a cocktail in hand. I enjoyed it in the spirit it was intended even though I had to force myself not to think too hard or question too much.

3.5 Stars

Landon Price is the hottest actor in Hollywood, but he is in need of a break. So he is taking a vacation and not telling anyone where he is going. When the plane lands on a small secluded island in Hawaii, Lance White is ready to relax. A little R&R is just what he needs and no one seems to know who he is. After a few days, a small white fluffy dog shows up at his bungalow and he is instantly attached to him and calls him "Spike." When Lance finally meets Spike's owner, the sparks fly.

Zara Jobert is living in her own little world on a small Hawaiian island. She still lives at home but is ready to be on her own, she is 23 after all, but her father is overprotective and will fight to keep her close. When she meets Lance, she can't believe the attraction she feels for him.

What happens when Zara finds out who Lance really is? Can she handle his fame? Will Landon/Lance give up Zara to keep his career?

I loved the idea of this story, but it seemed to drag along and I had to push myself to read through the slow parts. I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

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

This was a very romantic, Pretty Woman type story. Famous actor needs break, hides away on an island and meets a local girl. Local girl is SO local that she doesn't recognize the heart throb.

Zara is such a sheltered woman that I actually found her to be hard to believe. Yes, while I understood that her family had tragedy in their life, what teenager/early 20-year-old isn't somehow connected to social media or the outside world?

Then you have Landon Price (aka Lance). He was more believable in his story of wanting to just get away from everything. He also has suffered a tragic loss and feels somewhat responsible. While he's trying to figure out what he wants from his life, he meets Marshmallow (aka Spike). From there, he has an ally when it comes to Zara.

I actually found Marshmallow (aka Spike) to be the most endearing character in this story. He is what brought the couple together and kept them coming back.

Overall, this is a sweet story with very predictable twists and turns. It's an easy read for a day when you don't want to have to think of anything but romance.

This is a really good story – not a new concept, but really interesting take on it. That said, I did have a few struggles with this author's writing style. There is too much introspection and inner voice, by both the male and female lead. I am fine with a little, after all, that is inevitable, but pages of uncertainty make for a frustrated me. As I say I think the story is good, hence I kept reading, as I was invested enough to want to know how it could be resolved. Some of the issues were a little odd, like the constant fear of being targeted after 15 years, a regime change, and 1000s of miles distance – but I let it pass, for dramatic effect.

If you like a lot of inner debate and monologue, then this is definitely for you. If not, well the story is worth a read, and there is a good mix of romance, sex, and fun.

USA Today bestselling author A.M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels, and now an author. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good romance book.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden to read and review.