Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn!

Two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I'm not going to lie, I was like a kid at Christmas when Kingsbane showed up on my Kindle! The Empirium series has totally taken me by surprise and I'm completely impressed by the story Claire Legrand has woven. The second book in the series has picked up where Furyborn left off. War is coming... The Emperor is coming!

We continue to follow the life and events of two women, connected by some circumstances. Only one can be the Sun Queen while the other the Blood Queen. By this book we know who is who, but we don't know WHY or HOW they choose their paths. Wonder no more...

Did I mention this is such a difficult review to write? I refuse to spoil anything, but I will say I am emotionally invested in all of these characters – the good, the bad, the ugly. Every single one of them have worked their way into my head. I am exhilarated yet anxious to find out what happens. Even though I know the general ending, I need to see how everything plays out. What exactly is victory? Who can possibly say they won?


Also Available in the Empirium Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Furyborn post.

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas).

Her first novel is The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of The Year of Shadows, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and Winterspell, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. Some Kind of Happiness, her middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee. Claire’s latest novel, Foxheart, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.

Connect with Claire

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Kingsbane (Empirium #2) by Claire Legrand to read and review.

Twisted by Aleatha Romig Release Blitz

The underworld of Chicago is far from forgiving. It’s a world where knowledge means power, power money, and money everything.
While I paid the ultimate price to have it all, it wasn’t my decision to give my life…
That doesn’t mean I ceased to exist, only to live.
Going where the job takes me and living in the shadows, with deadly accuracy I utilize the skills inherent to me, not knowing from where they came, not recalling what I’d lost.

And then I saw her.
Laurel Carlson.

I shouldn’t want her, desire her, or need her, yet with each sighting I know she is exactly what I have to have. Laurel has the ability to do what I thought was impossible. She sees what others don’t.
My gut tells me that it’s a deadly mistake to change my plans and open my world to her. My mind says she’ll be repulsed by my twisted existence.
None of that matters, because my body won’t take no for an answer.

I’ve made dangerous mistakes before.
This time, will the price be too high?

From New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a brand-new dark romance bringing us back to the same dangerous underworld as Secrets. You do not need to read the Web of Sin trilogy to get caught in this new and intriguing saga, Tangled Web.

Twisted is book one of the Tangled Web trilogy which will continue in Obsessed and conclude in Bound.
Have you been Aleatha’d?

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Book 1
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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

Laurel is brilliant. She is also somewhat shy. When she is approached during a less than exiting fundraiser, despite the warning bells that this person is probably dangerous, Laurel's reaction is more carnal.

Kader is used to taking jobs and going on to the next one. However, this one... this one is different. He can't seem to figure out why it's different, but with a past that he can't quite remember, something in this job is nagging him.

It's fast paced and you're constantly left wondering where it's going. You want Kader to be good, but know that deep down, he's a trained killer. You also want Laurel to be more than just a naïve, brilliant nerd.

Without giving too much away, this is a great start to the new series. I am so excited to see where Romig will take us. The journey has started with a bang and I hope that it pulls us along, answering and creating questions in future books.

I knew when I first read the snippets of this story that I wanted to read it, no, I needed to read it. What I didn't know was that the story is more twisted than the title.

Kader is a man with no past, but he lives in the shadows. Does the job he is paid to do. But the job he is sent to do has him wondering what it is about her that has him second-guessing his assignment.

Laurel Carlson, along with another professor, is on the edge of a breakthrough that will change history. But things change quickly, and she doesn't know who she can trust but somehow, she feels she can trust Kader.

The chemistry between them simmers through each meeting they have. Will they burn in the end? Will she learn who he is and why he is there helping her? Can he accept that she sees him? Will he be able to complete his assignment?

If you are looking for a suspenseful story with a little romance, then you need to read this one. If you are a Romig fan, then you are going to love this one. If not, then you need to read this one and become a fan. She has a way of drawing you into a story and keeping you there until the rollercoaster ride is over or until the first book is over, leaving you wanting more and ready for book two, Obsessed, I need it now, please. *Have you been Aleatha’d yet?

3.5 stars

Twisted is the first book in Aleatha Romig's new series, Tangled Web. This series is set in the same world as the Web of Sin books. This book felt so different than any of Romig's works and I can't say exactly why. Something was just different, maybe it was the characters?

Laurel is a genius. I'd say she's an awfully naïve genius who is devising a revolutionary medication. Unfortunately, she is also the target of some not-so-good people that want her formulation. The problem is, in the tangled web, how is she to know who is good and who is evil? I want to like Laurel, but she is just so optimistic and trusting. I feel like she's one dimensional and she fell flat for me.

Now Kader is the total opposite from Laurel. He's experienced in the worst of people. He trusts no one and shares nothing. I know there's more to him, and I'm assuming his story will all come out eventually, but as of now, he's just another flat character.

While I can't say I love these characters, I can say I loved the premise of the story. The suspense is what drew me in, I want to know who the bad guy is. I need to know that there is more to both Laurel and Kader than we've been shown. I know Romig can, and probably will, blow my mind and for that reason, I will definitely trust in her to deliver some amazingness in the next installment.

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!

Aleatha released her first novel, Consequences, in August of 2011. Consequences became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series Tales from the Dark Side, Insidious, in the fall of 2014. These standalone thrillers continue Aleatha's twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romance with the release of Betrayal, the first of her five novel Infidelity series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books Into the Light and Away from the Dark were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with Plus One, followed by the sweet stand-alone, One Night.

Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America.  She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Connect with Aleatha

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Hosted by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Twisted (Tangled Web #1) by Aleatha Romig to read and review for this tour. Mary received her review copy via the author’s ARC group.

Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen

No matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.

Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.

But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.

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~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

This book starts with Adam watching his wife being abducted from the shore while he and his daughter are rowing back from being out on the water. Despite being in fairly decent shape, he can’t row fast enough to get to her and even though he is calling out for help, there are not many people around. When the unthinkable happens, we watch as witnesses are interviewed, police become involved, and to see whether or not Adam is going to be able to withstand this traumatic experience.

The first chapter sucks you right in. You want to know what to do. You want to be able to help Adam and his daughter, but then, things start to come to light and you’re left wondering what the whole story really is. Despite the well-developed storyline, the characters are hard to relate to, mean and petty and altogether not very likeable.

Also, other issues I have with this story are that the police force are instantly biased in their search for who kidnapped Sophie and they are not afraid to show it. Also, Sophie’s parents are abusive and unlikeable, at best. I wanted to scream at Sophie’s mom and smack her dad. Finally, and what I would say is my biggest peeve about this story, is the issues with biological children and adoption. They are horribly offensive to those who are adopted.

So, while this is a good thriller, the issues outweighed my ability to truly enjoy the story. But it was well developed in the way it was told and the story.

Lying Next to Me was just a three-star read for me, I liked the beginning and the end was interesting but the rest was just meh. Adam and Sophie Warner take bit of a vacation with their three-year-old daughter, when the worst thing happens... Sophie is abducted right in front of her husband! Queue Adam's friend's sister, Lee, and her partner's arrival as the law enforcement on the case. Now we have a real crime drama mystery.

I enjoyed meeting each of the characters and getting a glimpse of their lives. I must say that they all seemed a bit one-dimensional and predictable. I was hoping for something to wow me but was left wanting. The story had its high points and many, many low points. I felt most of the middle was slow moving (I may have set this down and started another book), but this really gained traction toward the end. I will say that I thought I knew what was going on, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong!

3.5 stars

There is a really clever twist to this story and although at one point I was pretty certain how things would turn out, I was delighted at the ruse. That is after all why we read such books, to have the clues pile up and send us down blind alleys. In this book, we get to learn the facts by travelling back in time at key points in the story. These snippets gave us the hints to keep us hooked.

There were some things which I had serious issues with – the biggest being the release of her body for cremation within days of her death... we see too much crime on TV to think that this could possibly be the case – especially when they make a point of saying that they don't even have their own forensic team. Weird, and actually given there was no big funeral, it was just not necessary, so it threw me out of the story somewhat. Likewise, the overemphasis on the attempts at creating a child – important in the scheme of things, but not at quite a level of repetition. Instead, I would have liked more on Lee – she turned out to be a key figure, yet we know very, very little about her, other than the crime committed against her.

Overall, I think that the story is worth a read and definitely kept me guessing until the final reveal.

Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A #1 New York Times, Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, eighteen novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on Dateline NBC, William Shatner's Aftermath, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, CBS 48 Hours, Oxygen's Snapped, Court TV's Crier Live, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, and A&E's Biography.

In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People, Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington's Secretary of State for the book's contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival. The Boy She Left Behind was a finalist for the International Thriller Writers (ITW) award for best YA novel in 2018.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).

Connect with Gregg

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Thomas & Mercer –

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen to read and review.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Taken by Rebecca Zanetti

Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams...

Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too...

But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other...

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1.5
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

Hunter and Faye grew up together. They were once inseparable. But when things really came through, Faye knew that she had to get her life in order and did the only thing she could... she left.

When their foster mother calls them worried about one of her new foster children, Faye and Hunter will have to figure out a way to work together and bury their hurtful past.

This is a short story, but it is full of action. Hunter gets a nice surprise and when push comes to shove, he knows that he never stopped loving Faye.

These two have a relationship that you can see spans the decades. They have a familiarity that is comfortable. I really enjoyed watching them and even though this couple might not be seen in other books, it was a very sweet story.

Overall, this was a sweet, second-chance romance with action surrounding their relationship.

After Hidden, the brilliant psychological thriller that started this series, I was really excited for more from the Deep Ops team. And hopefully there’s more coming. But for me, this novella really doesn’t succeed on any level.

At just over 100 pages, this is a short read and neither the romance nor the suspense has been fully developed. Rebecca Zanetti usually excels at complicated relationships and tense psychological suspense. This book has a surprisingly simple storyline – the Deep Ops team assists with the hunt for a fugitive on a killing spree. There are no real surprises or twists and there isn’t really any action until the very end. This is also a disappointing simple second-chance romance with a few hot scenes and an easy insta-fix relationship between two characters we don’t ever get to know terribly well.

I understand that the novella format doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a complex story but it seems an odd fit for an author who excels at complicated stories. I’m really hoping this is just a blip and the series gets back on track when book two is released.

This is book 1.5 in the new engaging series from Zanetti – and loyal fans will be delighted that an in-between novels story has been served up! I would recommend that you read the first book... because Raider... but this would stand alone just fine too.

For a novella, this packs plenty of punch and seemed much fuller than I had expected for the page count. I do think that the fact Hunter and Faye had a past, meant that they were a team from the beginning, not needing too much build up – and the early scenes between Jackson and his runaway teacher/love clearly set up the dynamic and the responsibility for the events, which helps tie things up more quickly. But never did it feel rushed or insufficient, which is the mark of Zanetti's skills on the page.

Lovely treat catching up with a couple of old friends – and fun times with the crazy dog and Wolfe's cute cat. Looking forward to more already!

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
From the first page to the last, I was enthralled. The storyline is one that is rarely written about in such a way you get the angst from the characters as we are reading along.

The way Faye and Hunter's backstory is told gives the reader a sense of being there with the obvious flashbacks that sometimes take away from the story. They ended badly when Hunter refused to get help for his PTSD, and Faye had trouble fighting her own demons.

Now they are being sent to rescue a teen by their foster mother. Making the situation even more dire? The teen boy is in the company of an older, married woman. Hunter is shaken to learn that the teen is his half-brother, as well.

Knowing what his brother has lived with and through, Hunter is bound and determined to find him before the police do.

Driving together, Hunter and Fay have no choice but to address the reasons behind their breakup and acknowledge that the love is still there.

Also Available in the Deep Ops Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Hidden post.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes contemporary romances, dark paranormal romances, and romantic suspense novels.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Connect with Rebecca

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Taken (Deep Ops #1.5) by Rebecca Zanetti to read and review.

Thrown to the Wolves by Charlie Adhara

Agent Cooper Dayton is going to meet his boyfriend’s werewolf family. Unarmed. On their turf.

And he’s bringing his cat.

When Agent Cooper Dayton agreed to attend the funeral for Oliver Park’s grandfather, he didn’t know what he was getting into. Turns out, the deceased was the alpha of the most powerful werewolf pack on the eastern seaboard. And his death is highly suspicious. Regardless, Cooper is determined to love and support Park the way Park has been there for him.

But Park left him woefully unprepared for the wolf pack politics and etiquette. Rival packs? A seating order at the dinner table? A mysterious figure named the Shepherd? The worst is that Park didn’t tell his family one key thing about Cooper. Cooper feels two steps behind, and reticent Park is no help.

There are plenty of pack members eager to open up about Park and why Cooper is wrong for him. Their stories make Cooper wonder if he’s holding Park back. But there’s no time to get into it… as lethal tranquilizer darts start to fly, Cooper needs to solve the mystery of the alpha’s death and fight for the man he loves—all before someone else dies.

Follow Agents Dayton and Park’s turbulent relationship from the beginning. Read The Wolf at the Door and The Wolf at Bay, both available now from Carina Press!

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 3
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Carina Press – Harlequin

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

There’s something completely addictive about this series and I love that this book is a huge departure from the earlier stories. For the first time, we get to meet Park’s family and the fascinating but creepy members of the legendary Park pack. Like the other books, this one is a murder mystery – but I love the nod to classic Agatha Christie country house murder mysteries as Dayton and Park find themselves trapped in a mansion in a snowstorm with a rising body count.

Fans of the series will be as excited as I was when Park finally starts to share his family secrets with Dayton. Park’s family is deliciously menacing and as a human outsider, Dayton has to prove himself without showing any fear. I loved the complicated dynamics between the members of the Park pack and the even more complex relationships between the Parks and those outside the pack.

While this is a fabulous murder mystery, the best part of this book might be the way both Park and Dayton grow and the way their relationship develops. Park will never be an open book but for the first time, he trusts Dayton with his vulnerabilities. Dayton starts the story as an anxious mess, but I love that he willingly takes on Park’s family and his voice gets stronger as the story progresses. Dayton is an unlikely hero but in a book full of bloodthirsty wolves, it is the fragile human who ultimately proves himself strongest. I also love the new sense of balance between Dayton and Park by the end of this book and I love the trust they build as partners.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but this story threw me for a loop a few times. I guessed parts of the story but I didn’t manage to guess everything and I loved some of the surprises at the end. This is an exciting read. The snowstorm in rural Canada makes for a sinister, claustrophobic setting and I loved the wolves.

Also Available in the Big Bad Wolf Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press

For reviews & more info, check out our The Wolf at the Door post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press

For reviews & more info, check out our The Wolf at Bay post.

Charlie Adhara has always loved a good story and, on occasion, a bad one. After getting her degree in neuroscience, Charlie decided she’d much rather study the heart. She now writes contemporary, mystery, paranormal, queer romance. Or some assortment of that. Whatever the genre, her stories feature imperfect people stumbling around, tripping over trouble and falling in love.

Charlie has done a fair amount of stumbling around herself but tends to find her way back to the northeast U.S. After all, home is where the dog is.

Connect with Charlie

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Thrown to the Wolves (Big Bad Wolf #3) by Charlie Adhara to read and review.

Wild Flowers by Gemma Snow

When it comes to the two very tempting search-and-rescue survivalists, Lily Hollis is all about getting in touch with nature…

Five years have passed since her fiancé’s death and Lily Hollis has had enough. She’s done with the self-pity and the guilt and putting the brakes on her own life. She’s going to visit her sister, Madison, in Wolf Creek, Montana and she’s going to finish her master’s research, finally graduating, like she never did all those years ago.

But Wolf Creek holds temptation, specifically in the form of the very sexy, very dangerous Dec McCormick and Micah Ellison, two search-and-rescue specialists who run a survival camp near her sister’s ranch. When they suggest she stay with them to complete her fieldwork, Lily is shocked to find herself agreeing. After all, she hasn’t wanted a man in a very long time and now she finds herself wanting two.

Which is… complicated. Because, while some of the folks in Wolf Creek don’t mind unorthodox relationships, Dec and Micah are clear from the start that it doesn’t appeal to them. It’s a shame Lily’s fool heart can’t seem to get the idea, because the more time she spends with the two men, the more she finds herself caring—that is, until one damning question could bring everything to a crashing halt.

Lily knows deep down that there’s more to whatever’s between them, but the question is, can she ever get Dec and Micah to believe it—and what might the future hold if they do?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of anal sex and double penetration.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
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Totally Bound

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
M/F/M Romance

I really enjoyed Lily. She was stronger than she believed, but realized that she could finish her degree and be satisfied. I like that she was spunky with her sister, but a calming influence on Dec and Micah.

For the men, they each had their own baggage, but when they met Lily, both realized that they could have more – deserved more.

Their chemistry is off the charts and their interactions are sexy, without being gaudy. I can't wait to see who gets the next book!

Also Available in the Triple Diamond Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Totally Bound

For reviews & more info, check out our The Lovin’ Is Easy post.

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories. She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.

In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent several months living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers.

Connect with Gemma

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wild Flowers (Triple Diamond #2) by Gemma Snow to read and review.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Blood & Bitcoin by L.A. Witt Audiobook Review

Chris Emmett has a talent for screwing up and landing on his feet. As a SEAL, he managed to evade bullets and court-martials alike. As an FBI agent, he dodged danger and disciplinary action—right up until he didn’t.

With his career and freedom hanging in the balance, he’ll do whatever it takes to clean the slate… including an off-the-books deep cover solo mission.

The objective: infiltrate the Hive, a complex crime syndicate operating on the dark web, and find out who’s trying to kill Piker, the organization’s enigmatic and strangely alluring modern day Mob boss.

The moment he’s pulled into the Hive, Chris enters a world where no one is what they seem, including the man he’s there to protect. Lines blur between moral and wrong, legal and criminal, ally and foe, and—as Piker’s seductive magnetism draws Chris in—straight and queer.

Chris is running out of time to stop a killer. He has dangerous feelings for a dangerous man, and the deeper he moves into the realms of organized crime, the less he knows and the fewer people he can trust.

And that’s before he learns the truth about Piker’s assassin.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.

Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.

Audiobook Details
Length: 11 hrs, 16 mins
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Wow! Just, wow! I mean, I knew Blood & Bitcoin was going to be good based on my co-bloggers’ reviews of the ebook (spoiler-free, thank you, ladies). Between L.A. Witt’s writing and Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration, it was pretty much guaranteed that I’d enjoy it. And yet it still exceeded my expectations. As much as I enjoy the variety of romance genres Witt is able to tackle, I am seriously crushing on her organized crime romances… and I’ve only read two of them. As an aside, if you enjoyed Witt’s If the Seas Catch Fire, especially the audiobook, you’re not gonna wanna miss Blood & Bitcoin because while the stories are nothing alike, it has that same intense, gritty, ‘people aren’t who they seem and you never know who you can trust’ feel to it.

As a disgraced ex-FBI agent and former SEAL, Chris Emmett is believable as a man desperate for a job that would put the only skills he has to good use. Unfortunately for Chris, the man he’s been sent to protect is justifiably paranoid and makes it nearly impossible for Chris to do his job. Fortunately for Chris, he’s a the-ends-justify-the-means kind of guy and he maneuvers himself into an ideal position to protect Trent and do his job as a double agent. But the closer Chris gets to Trent, the more he begins to question his mission because the intel he was given doesn’t add up with what he learns about Trent, WST, the Hive, and who’s behind the threats against Trent. Making matters worse, Chris is drawn to Trent in a way he’s never experienced before and he’s not sure what’s worse: that he’s falling for an organized crime boss or that he’s falling for a man.

Witt crafted a story that is ripe for the picking of conflict and she harvested the heck out of it. We not only get multiple servings of suspense as Chris works to earn Trent’s trust, thwarts assassination attempts on Trent’s life, undertakes missions to interfere with Cartel business, collects intel on WST and the Hive, and talks his way out of a bullet more than once when caught lying to Trent, but we also get plenty of yummy, forbidden angst as Chris grapples with his unexpected attraction to Trent. Because it takes a while for Chris to acknowledge his attraction, I was treated to a delicious build-up of sexual tension that added to the overall feeling of suspense in the novel as I listened with rapt attention, waiting to see who was going to snap and make the first move. And it was HAWT! But even that didn’t compare with the intensity of the action that plays out when betrayals are revealed, and when desperate men make desperate decisions in the name of love.

Michael Ferraiuolo does such a tremendous job with Witt’s characters and storyline that I stayed up later than I should have listening to it and resumed listening to the audiobook as soon as I could upon waking the next morning (well, technically the same morning as it was well after midnight when I stopped listening). Blood & Bitcoin has a rather large cast of characters and Ferraiuolo not only does an exceptional job of creating unique voices for them but also in conveying a full range of emotions for them, sometimes at whiplash speed, dragging the listener along for the nail-biting ride. I’m a bit of a multi-tasker when listening to audiobooks and found myself stopping what I was doing because I got so sucked into the action that I couldn’t continue the menial tasks. Oh yes, Witt and Ferraiuolo commanded my complete attention more than a few times over the course of the audiobook. Is it wrong that I really, really hope that Witt gets attacked by a litter of organized crime plot bunnies that drag her back to the Hive to create more stories? Because I would love to catch up with Chris and Trent again and get more stories from the Hive, especially with Ferraiuolo back to narrate. A girl can hope. And thankfully a girl can listen to her Blood & Bitcoin audiobook again… well, after she listens to If the Seas Catch Fire again first.

P.S. – If you know of any other organized crime romances by L.A. Witt, drop me a comment so I can check them out. Extra points if they’re already on audiobook.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

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Michael Ferraiuolo is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the owner of Iron Works Studios in New York City. As a voice artist, Michael has appeared both nationally and internationally in film, radio, and over 100 audiobooks.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of Blood & Bitcoin (Criminal Delights: Organized Crime) by L.A. Witt, narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo to listen to and review.