Monday, August 21, 2017

Mercy by Debra Anastasia Release Blitz

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I have to say that I expected this story to be a lot darker than it actually was. However, I really did enjoy the plot we got. Coming from someone who loves dark stories, I wouldn't say this even falls into dark. There are certainly dark aspects, but it isn't dark.

Nix isn't a good guy, but he treats Becca like she is the everything important in the world. Probably because to him, she is. He's loved her for years even though their only meeting was brief and when they were kids. When he actually gets to interact with her, he simply can't believe it is actually happening. The way he simply adores Becca is beautiful even if he is a bit over the top at times, it works because HE is over the top.

We really get to see Becca evolve as the story progresses. She blossoms and even though she is perfect for Nix from the beginning, she grows into this strong, independent woman who is deeply in love with a man who thinks he doesn't deserve love.

I can't wait to read Animal's story. He played such an important part in this story, and the way he was always there for Nix was so touching when they both had such rough lives. I must admit that I hope we get to see more of Becca and Nix in his story as they settle more into life together and what that might bring for them.

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

Hmmmm, where to start with this review? This was an interesting read. There is a ton going on throughout the story and it is well developed. However, there was, at times, almost too much going on that it slowed down what the main story seemed to be.

You start out with the back story and it pulls you right into the story. Girl saves boy, boy dedicates his life to her protection.

Fenix (aka Mercy aka Nix) is just a boy when he meets Rebecca. He knows that his father is an evil person and despite all that happened in his home, he knows that there isn't much he can do to save himself. However, when the unthinkable happens, he takes advantage of it. He has a troubled past and grows up to help those who cannot fight back, feel a sense of safeness. In that lifestyle, he also has to do things that are considered bad and he believes that he's just a ghost of a person. His devotion to Rebecca is fierce and unwavering. He would rather rip his own heart out than see her hurting.

Rebecca has had a hard life, but not in the same way. She was abandoned by her father and has to learn to live with her crazy mother. Now, while Becca's mom isn't your typical crazy, her mother is boy crazy and wants Rebecca to marry a guy who is "respectable." So, you see Rebecca in her grown up days, working at a bar. Her best friend is Henry, a woman who is raunchy and so forgiving. (I have to say that the names of the friends, Henry and Dick, were distracting throughout and even though there were numerous jokes, I'm sure, I just found it strange.) However, Rebecca is the character that I believe grew the most throughout the story. She finds an inner strength that not only changes her perspective on Nix, but on herself too.

What follows is a story of love, redemption, taking back control, and vengeance. It was fast paced at times, but also slow too. It was well balanced, but I thought that perhaps we could have left out Rebecca's mom's drama. I didn't think that it added too much.

Overall, this was a good read with a great teaser at the end. I can't wait to see what Animal has in store, because when he first appeared, I honestly thought he wanted Mercy just a little. He is very affectionate with his words, despite his menacing looks.

Debra Anastasia likes to write from her heart, her soul, or her butt. The genres she dabbles in are examples of that. There are two paranormal romances in the Seraphim Series and now four contemporary romances in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series and a standalone in the same genre, Mercy. Fire Down Below and Fire in the Hole, Booty Camp Dating Service and Beast complete her comedy repertoire. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance, is finally in the light, and the last, a novella called Late Night with Andres, is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. 

Debra lives in Maryland with her two kids, husband of twenty years and two dogs. The king of the house is clearly the tuxedo cat that is the size of a small donkey. Find about her latest adventures on her website.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Mercy by Debra Anastasia to read and review for this tour.

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid Blog Tour

All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.

She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

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Book 4
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She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense.

I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.”


I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”


“I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.”


I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern.

Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up.

She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking you to the bed.”

“Don’t do that.”

“I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting.

She squirmed. “Put me down.”

Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it.

I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past.

“Where are you?”

I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness.

“I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop.

Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week.

“Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.”

“I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists.

She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist.

“Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons.

Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder.

“Shelly.” I was running out of breath.

“I like this.”


“Touching you.”

Oh fuck.

I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up.

“Take this off.”

I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor.

We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet.

Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs.

If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first.

God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I?

“I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?”

“Lots of reasons.”

“Give me one.”

“I don’t want to you use you.”

“I wish you would.”

That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips.

“You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.”

She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen.

“You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.”

“What can I promise you?”

That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority.

She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down.

Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment.

Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper.

Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist.

“Beau, I promise—”

She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Beau Winston is a great guy. Loved by everybody and full of charm, Beau would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He goes out of his way to help others and gets along with everyone. Until he meets Shelly, the new mechanic hired by his brother, Cletus, to work in their auto shop. Shelly is rude, incommunicative, seemingly immune to Beau's charms. She is also the most beautiful woman he has ever laid eyes on.

When the story shifts briefly to Shelly's point of view, we learn what Shelly is dealing with on a daily basis. We see why she behaves the way she does. Ultimately, we are shown that Shelly is an amazing woman. Immensely talented, brutally honest with a soft heart.

Beau and Shelly's journey to happiness is not an easy one and it is made more complicated when Beau gets news that rocks his world. In order to deal with their individual issues, our couple has to learn to lean on each other.

Beard in Mind is a beautiful romance and while it deals with a serious issue, it is still sexy, funny, and full of love. I enjoyed this story immensely. Also, when you get to the end of the book, hang around and read the Author's Note. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Ms. Reid, for giving us Shelly and Beau.

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid to read and review for this tour.

A Cowboy's Secret by Carol Lynne

Will Lex be willing to sacrifice his long-held secrets for true love?

Nick Barker was thrilled. A summer working on his college roommate’s family ranch was a dream come true for a veterinary student. He didn’t anticipate his reaction to his best friend and roommate’s father, though.

Lex Whitefeather hired his son Sam’s best friend for the summer. He figured he’d be generous and help the kid out. He wasn’t expecting the young Adonis who stepped off the plane. Nick Barker was no kid. Years of repressed sexual desires rose to the surface that summer.

When Lex and Nick finally come together and admit their feelings, Lex is plagued by guilt. He’s not “out” to his family and friends. Lex pushes Nick away with his unwillingness to open up to his family.

A few years later, Nick is back on the ranch…

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Pride Publishing

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.

Lex is living a lie. He loves his son, Sam, and doesn't want to do anything to rock the boat. Lex is also hiding a truth that he believes will destroy his ranch and his life. When his son, Sam, asks if his best friend, Nick, can come for the summer to work, Lex doesn't hesitate to agree.

Nick is used to being alone. He grew up in foster care and never had anything of his own, no real home to come home to. When he finds himself on Lazy River Ranch, he's excited, nervous, and incredibly attracted to his best friend's father.

This story spans several years and we get to see glimpses on both sides of the timeline. I think that it was developed fairly organically, but it was still frustrating to see the before and only get hints of the in between.

Lex has to find a good place because that's the only way he'll risk his son or Lazy River Ranch. However, he's somewhat lost without Nick. Nick is not necessarily lost, but he won't be allowed to love anyone else because he left his heart at Lazy River Ranch. Watching the two characters figure their stuff out, find that their attraction stays just as strong throughout the years is both sweet and predictable.

Lex and Nick make a great couple and definitely have great chemistry. But it's the culmination of the story, involving all of the characters, that really makes it great. I do hope that Pete gets his own story too, as I think that he'll be a great addition.

When I was a teenager I loved romance novels with Native Americans in them. This book had one and holy cow... I was thrown back to my youth and fell in love all over again!!! Nick is going to work on a buddy's family ranch. Lex is Nick's buddy's dad. Fireworks went off when they saw each other and they never stopped going off either! These two try and fight their feelings but they just can't. HOWEVER, Lex is so deep in the closet it isn't even funny. Nick decides he can't handle hiding and leaves before the summer is over. A random phone call several years later brings Nick and Lex back together and their chemistry hadn't cooled off at all. This story had me rooting for both Nick and Lex and for each of them to fight for what they wanted. My only regret was the book wasn't longer, I wasn't done with them, I wanted more, even though we did get a nice epilogue.

This is a shortish book with a sweet story and a happy ending. I found the dialogue to be a little stilted in the beginning, but it seemed to smooth out along the way. I liked the premise, but did find the speed with which the two men fell for each other, and the resulting outcome to be quite extreme. Luckily fate, in the form of Lex’s son, Sam, manages to resolve the immediate problem of distance, and in turn of acceptance. The epilogue, set a good while later, is a fun way to round off the story.

An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. These days, you can usually find Carol either cleaning jelly out of the carpet or nestled in her favourite chair writing steamy love scenes.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Cowboy's Secret by Carol Lynne to read and review.

This Is the Route of Twisted Pain by MariaLisa deMora

Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align.

George Bell, aka Twisted, knows the odds are against him. Have been all his life. Born in a Louisiana bordello, raised around the rough and rowdy men of a motorcycle club, he’s never been the lucky type. But he believes luck can change, so when fate gives him a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, he’s more than willing to roll the dice. Chancing upon what could be the woman of his dreams, he’s prepared to push this streak as far as he can.

Penny Dane’s background gives her an edge in the life she’s chosen to lead. Raised in a can-do family, she’s resilient, rolling with life’s punches and landing on her feet. But, when the past holds painful secrets—when a single misstep can turn deadly—can she trust the passion this man stirs in her?

On the surface, Bell and Penny don’t work. Their mismatched worlds are too different. But like a backwater bayou, what you see is not the whole story, there are mysteries buried underneath. Penny is the red-haired beauty caught up in a web of lies. Bell is like no one she’s ever met before. The problem is, he knows it.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a wild, gritty ride and I loved every moment of it. I was hooked from the first page and madly in love with ‘Twisted’ George Bell by the end of the first chapter. Born to a whore in a bordello, Twisted survives a brutal childhood before joining his grandfather’s MC.

This is as much the story of Twisted’s life as it is a romance. His relationship with his mother and grandfather. His unshakeable friendship with Po’Boy that takes the two men from childhood to leadership of their MC. The bloody, harsh world of MC politics. His delicate navigation through a world of brothers, allies, and traitors. Twisted’s life is harsh and often ugly. He has his own moral code and I love the way the author immerses readers in his world.

There is romance in this story. Twisted needs a woman strong enough to hold her own against him, his brothers, and their enemies. Raised in an allied biker club, trucker Penny is willing to sacrifice herself for family and she’s strong enough to earn the club’s respect and to be patched in on her own merit. When Twisted meets her, she is beautiful, clever, and recovering from a horrific ordeal. I loved the connection between Twisted and Penny. It is a cerebral as it is sensual. They feel like partners from the moment they meet and Penny makes Twisted and his brothers stronger.

I devoured this story in a single afternoon and fell in love with a new-to-me author before I’d finished this first book. I love the characters, I love Twisted’s world, and I can’t wait for the next book.

This is my first read by this author and I was not disappointed.

I really liked the beginning where you get a sense of why Twisted is like he is. His past is what made him into the man he is. I was so invested in the storyline and the characters. The secrets that were kept, the twists and turns, and the suspense kept me rooted to my seat until I got to the end.

Penny and Twisted meet at a truck stop. Penny isn't naive in the ways of life, she's tough, and she can hold her own. The connection between them is immediate and seriously page-burning hot.

The author gives this world life. I haven't read her previous books but I will make it a mission to go back and read the others! I can't wait to see what's next.

Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading… if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”

A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades.

Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop… you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars [read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of This Is the Route of Twisted Pain (Neither This, Nor That #1) by MariaLisa deMora to read and review.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy

There is no Plan B.

After being outed in an especially brutal way and briefly running away from home, Micah Johnson has sworn to get his life back on the straight and narrow. Well, not so much straight, but you know what he means.

Unfortunately the path to redemption is not an easy one. With fights at school and on the football field and an all-round snarky attitude as his number one defense mechanism, will Micah survive the school year and the training camps to achieve his dream of making the national draft and becoming a professional AFL player?

His mentor, Declan Tyler, believes in him, but Micah wishes he had the same confidence in himself. Only time will tell if the ongoing reformation of Micah Johnson will be successful.

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Harmony Ink

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Micah Johnson is a fabulous character. Obnoxious, insecure, and arrogant, he is a wonderfully memorable anti-hero. This story of Micah’s progress from complete asshole to not quite as much of an asshole is alternately funny and frustrating.

Readers will spend most of the story cringing as Micah continually makes bad situations worse. He alienates his friends, antagonises the bullies, and constantly reaffirms his asshole reputation. For most of the book, it is almost impossible to like Micah. I had some empathy for the homophobic behaviour Micah faced – until his reactions made the situations worse. This is a story of personal growth and I actually really liked the absence of any sort of ‘come to Jesus’ moment. Micah’s progress is pretty limited. As a result, he feels like a real kid rather than a literary hero. He is far too familiar and his mistakes are painfully funny. I may not have liked him but there were many moments where I completely loved him.

This is very much a sports story. In his last year of secondary school, Micah is preparing for the AFL draft. The story tracks him from the end of school through summer selection camps. Many of the sports tropes in this story are a bit tired and the blatant homophobia feels outdated (though maybe not in Australia). Sports fans will enjoy the competitive tension and I found this a welcome change from all of the books about traditionally American sports.

I am annoyed that this book is marketed as the first in a new series. If I hadn’t read the Tigers and Devils series first, I would have been lost. As it is, I read the earlier books some time ago and I still found myself trying desperately to recall events and characters that the author assumes readers will remember. This is not the start of an autonomous series. It is an extension of the Tigers and Devils series and I really could have used some recap summaries at the start of this story because it took me a long time to properly get into this book.

3.5 Stars

A word of warning: as this is listed as the first in a series, I tried to read it shortly after its release. After three attempts, I realized my error. While it's listed as the first, it's a spin-off of an adult series (Tigers and Devils). I understand listing it separately, as it is geared more toward younger readers, with a younger narrator, it's nearly impossible to get heads or tails without reading the Tigers and Devils series first. Micah's journey 'begins' during Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils #3), as is obvious by the 'ONGOING' in the title. So my warning is to readers thinking this is truly the first in a series – it's not. Go read Tigers and Devils first.

After reading books #1 and #3 of Tigers and Devils, I restarted The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson with great ease now that the info-dumpage from past books makes a whole lot of sense. I felt connected to the environment and the characters, and was able to read as if this was book #4 being narrated by Micah.

Micah is a difficult character to enjoy. He's arrogant and irritating, all a cover for his insecurities. While he wasn't a pleasant narrator, he felt real – emotions dictated by human nature. Every interaction is tainted by Micah's antagonism, no matter with who or whether they are being nice to him. This makes for a stressful read, where it's with great difficulty for the reader to connect with the narrator, because he rubs everyone wrong – friends, family, enemies, bullies – the reader. No matter how stressful to read, the author is authentic with Micah's personality, never deviating from the uncomfortable nature.

Micah encounters homophobia as he finishes out his high school career, enters camps, to prepare for the AFL draft. Heavy on Micah's personality, The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson is also a sports story. One of the first I've read where it's not just used as a prop to propel the main character to a love interest, with a few passages to affirm it in the sports genre. Light on romance, Micah is an athlete dealing with homophobic and closeted jocks, while simultaneously reveling and fighting his antagonistic nature.

Recommended to LGBTQ fans, who enjoy reading coming-of-age characters, with a story based on character development instead of focused on romance and between-the-sheets action.

SEAN KENNEDY lives in Perth, Western Australia, but his heart still belongs to his hometown Melbourne—which is also the home of Simon Murray and Declan Tyler from his series Tigers and Devils. A disciple of cult leader David Lynch, Sean is breathlessly awaiting the revival of Twin Peaks in 2016.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson (Get Out #1) by Sean Kennedy to read and review.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thousands by Pepper Winters Blog Tour

“Love had been stolen from me for reasons entirely my fault. But then a miracle happened, and Pim gave me something I thought was lost forever. She gave me a love I’d earned. Love that ruined me. Love that made me hopelessly hers…”

Once upon a time, I didn’t think I’d ever be normal.
Now, I’m talking and trusting, and it’s all thanks to Elder.
He gave me my life back, and I gave him my heart, but love stories like ours are never simple.
I did something to protect him.
He did something to survive me.
We screwed up.
And now, it’s no longer just about us.
It’s about safety, sanctuary, and sin.

Book 4 in the USA Today Bestselling Romance, Dollar Series

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I know I won't be able to do this book any justice with my review, heck, I don't think I have been able to with any of the books by Pepper Winters that I have read and reviewed. Once again, Winters out did herself. HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER!!! I just can't even put into words how fricking good this book was. I cried, not once, not twice, but A LOT. I read this story in one sitting, I couldn't put it down even though I was so tired from working a 12-hour day but I HAD to read it to the end. HAD TO! Then to see characters from other series... OH MY GOD... loved it. The Monsters in the Dark series has always been my favorite, I hate to say it though, this one might just beat it for me. I cannot wait to get the next installment and then read them all over again once the entire series is done.

Oh holy hell, what is going on in Pepper Winters’ head? This is one whopper of a rollercoaster ride and is worth every bump and valley along the way.

Pimlico and Elder are learning more about each other. While Pim wants more of a relationship with Elder, he doesn't want to hurt her the way he thinks he is responsible for his family’s pain. And the guilt eating at Elder from the group that killed his father and brother and is still searching for him. While Pim is getting stronger and asking for what she wants, Elder is losing something he never thought he would. Pim has stolen his heart and Elder doesn't know what to do.

This story is so good, from the first page to the WTF moment at the end. I need the last book NOW please. If you haven't read this series, please start from the beginning and be prepared, it is a dark, heartbreakingly good romance.

It doesn't matter what I write in this review, it will never do the story justice. So I will say "Just read it, you will not be sorry." There is one hell of a cliffhanger and you will not guess who shows up in the end.

Also Available in the Dollar Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Pennies Blog Tour.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Dollars Blog Tour.

Book 3
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Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s a multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six times in three years.

Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette.

Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Thousands (Dollar #4) by Pepper Winters to read and review.

Disciplined by the Duke by Alyson Chase Blog Tour

The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy... A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.

Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?

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“Look at me.” His voice was quiet. Kind. But no less commanding than when he gave orders to his steward. Or his dogs.

Her gaze rose over hard thighs, the fall of his trousers, the flat expanse of his stomach, and the wider expanse of his chest. She looked up until his eyes captured hers and held on. Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes weren’t the gray of unyielding stone anymore, but rather the shifting silvers and subdued greens of an ocean tossing in a storm.

“I don’t make a habit out of breaking anyone’s, anything’s, spirit.” Dropping to a squat, Montague ran his fingers under Reggie’s jaw.

The heat from his body, his sudden nearness, curled around Liz. She took a deep breath to calm her racing heart. But she was swamped with his scent, and her pulse ratcheted up even higher.

“Sometimes animals need to be molded so they can become their best selves. Guidance, a firm hand, training.” His breath bloomed across her cheek with every word. “My horse, Darkwing, has as much spirit as he did as a foal. I merely redirected it to productive channels. Now, he and I have a partnership. We each trust the other.” His lips quirked. “More so than I do most men.”

Digging his fingers into the soft fur at the back of Reggie’s neck, Montague gently lifted the pup. “Now if this fellow doesn’t wish to be molded that is his prerogative. He might not make the grade for a work dog at my estate, but he will make someone a lovely pet.”

Reggie yipped, and the duke lowered him to the ground. The puppy coiled around himself like a snake, obviously exhausted from his day. Montague kept his hand on the dog, his palm almost large enough to span Reggie’s entire back. He ran his long, tapered fingers slowly through the puppy’s coat, and Reggie gave one more sleepy yip before tucking his nose under his tail.

“You seem to have an affinity for the scamp.” Montague gently rubbed the tip of Reggie’s ear between his thumb and forefinger. Liz’s own earlobe tingled. “Perhaps you’d want him as a pet.”

Her heart twisted. She’d love to spoil a dog. But it wasn’t to be. And the duke should have known that.

“Where would I keep him?” She hated to do it. It would ruin the moment, these amazing few minutes when the duke spoke to her like she was a real person, an equal, not the hired help. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be able to sit without fear of violence or discovery. To not have every moment revolve around a job for Westmore, scraping together enough money for food for her and Amanda, finding enough coal to keep her warm at night.

This was like an afternoon of days past, when gentlemen treated her with respect and she wanted for nothing. She felt like her old self, if only for a moment. The decadence of it almost made her dizzy.

But being the old Miss Elizabeth Wilcox was a luxury she could no longer afford.

So she twisted the blade, just a little. Just enough to sting. “Mr. Todd doesn’t allow servants to have pets. And if Reggie followed me around on my duties I think he’d probably make more of a jumble than I could clean in a day.” Taking a deep breath, she clenched her stomach. “It doesn’t make sense for a chambermaid to have a puppy.”

And there it was. That small flicker. The stormy sea hardening back into granite. Montague had forgotten himself. Or, more accurately, forgotten her. Forgotten how low she was in relation to him.

Her lungs burned with the effort to keep her breathing steady. The reminder stung more than she’d expected. The duke would probably forget his momentary lapse in the time it took him to return to his house.

It would take her longer.

And she couldn’t keep forgetting who she was, why she was here. It hurt too much when reality crashed back in. So she dug the knife a little deeper into her side.

Picking up the sleeping puppy from her lap, she laid him next to Reggie. Standing, she brushed at her skirts, plucking an errant strand of fur from her apron. “Now if you will excuse me, Your Grace, I have some chamber pots I need to empty.”

Without looking to see whether she had shocked him, Liz turned on her heel and made her way back to the side door of Hartsworth. The servants’ entrance.

It wasn’t until she’d refilled Molly’s bucket and lugged it halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d forgotten to curtsy before leaving the duke. She could only hope her disgraceful chamber pot reference had distracted the man too much for him to notice.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Elizabeth "Liz" Wilcox is trying to save her sister, who is in prison for killing their father. Liz thinks that getting help from Lord Westmore is how she is going to free Amanda. But what does Westmore want her to do?

Duke Marcus Montague is where Liz ends up, to pretend to be a maid so she can steal papers for Westmore. But the Duke is more than Liz ever thought he would be.

When Liz learns what she really has to steal, will she go through with it? Can Marcus believe she was only there to steal from him? Were the feelings between Liz and Marcus real?

I usually don't read historical romance, but I liked the synopsis of this story so I thought I would give it a try, and I am glad I did because I really liked it and can't wait for the next book.

For the first third of Disciplined by the Duke, I was hooked by the setting and the characters. It was everything I loved in a book, anchoring me – tension and buildup, and a plot that sinks its teeth in.

Elizabeth is a strong heroine, with a stronger need to protect her sister, a sister who is absent for the majority of the book. The martyr, Elizabeth is willing to do anything, which opens the door to the Earl of Westmore. Westmore is the perfect, nefarious villain, one readers love to hate. The villain employs the heroine to seduce the hero of the story.

Elizabeth enters the Duke of Montague's estate under the guise of being a new parlor maid, in the hopes of stealing a letter for Westmore.

I'm a big fan of historical romance, the steamier the better, but my mind began to wander due to a disconnect between the eroticism and the plot itself – they didn't mesh together, feeling separate on the whole. The cover and description are slightly misleading. With a series title of Lords of Discipline, Disciplined by the Duke was light on BDSM with sex scenes that felt more immature than the characters who were involved. The erotic scenes weren't salacious or explicit, but more sensual in nature.

What happened next occurs for me often – my reading taste rears its ugly head. The book pacing slows down when the between-the-sheets actions starts, and I begin to wish the book was a short novella, rather than a novel. I don't know if I'm explaining correctly – have you ever had a book feel longer than its page count? It 'reads' longer? My interests waned, removing that page-turning sensation.

I do recommend Disciplined by the Duke for fans of historical romance, who want to dip their toes into light BDSM. However, it wasn't to my reading tastes, needing more plot and character development to feel satisfaction in the heat between the characters.

Alyson Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit… naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles.

She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay Area rocks.

If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Disciplined by the Duke (Lords of Discipline #1) by Alyson Chase to read and review for this tour.