Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Better Man by Candis Terry Blog Tour

In Candis Terry’s first novel in her Sunshine Creek Vineyard series, the handsome Kincade brothers convene to rescue their legacy-but the last thing they expect to find is love….

Sooner or later…

Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Creek for the NHL, but his sports career has overshadowed everything else – a truth Jordan confronts when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now his little sister Nicki is flunking out of school, and only one teacher can help Jordan save her – the shy but incredibly sexy Lucy Diamond, the same girl whose heart he broke years ago. But he’s determined not to make the same mistake twice. If only Lucy would give him the time of day.

Love has a way of catching up with you.

Lucy has no intention of drowning in Jordan’s deep blue gaze again, even if he seems to have turned over a new leaf. Still, his devotion to his sister is impossible to ignore. As they team up to salvage Nicki’s future, Lucy soon discovers that Jordan’s sweet caresses and lingering kisses might just be everything she needs.

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Today, she was a different person. Stronger because of the things she’d lived through. Smarter because she’d found a way to survive and come out the other side in a happy place. She knew exactly where she belonged, and that was teaching and helping students like Nicki. Which was why, right now, she was going to pull on her big girl panties and face the boy who had disappointed her head on.

Lucy managed to pull herself together as Jordan removed his sunglasses and slid them to the top of his head. His smile lifted a masculine pair of lips that somehow managed to look cruel and sexy at the same time.

The boy had turned into a man times ten.

Tall and broad shouldered, his chest looked a mile wide. Judging by the smooth ripples beneath his snug shirt he was packing muscle, not pounds. Jeans, worn and frayed at the stress points, accented his long muscular legs and trim waist. His longish nearly black hair gleamed beneath the overhead lights. And his sharp blue eyes focused intently on her.

It was all she could do to keep her heart at a normal pace and her legs solidly beneath her. If ever a man could be described as delicious, Jordan Kincade would be a menu’s specialty of the day.

Too bad he was such a jerk.

“Ms. Diamond?” He came forward and stretched out his very large hand. “Jordan Kincade.”

And clearly he didn’t remember her.

Lucy smiled as a funny little tickle moved through her chest. Maybe this was going to be fun after all. Rarely was she ever given the upper hand or the opportunity to have even the slightest edge.

When he moved closer his warm palm engulfed hers and her triumph died with a sizzle.

Close up she got a better look. She inhaled his sexy scent of worn leather and warm man. Every square inch of her female DNA perked up like it was party time. She hated to disappoint the little darlings but today was all about helping someone else.

“Please.” She kept the handshake brief and formal before she disengaged and motioned toward the chair in front of her desk. “Have a seat.”

He glanced at the standard school chair with a you’ve got to be kidding me lift of his brows. When he sat down, the orange plastic chair creaked and seemed ridiculously small beneath the scope of his height and muscles.

Lucy took her own seat and noticed that the difference in chairs made her tower over him and seemingly give her another advantage. But when he leaned back and crossed an ankle over a knee, he appeared completely comfortable.

So much for one-upmanship.

“I apologize if I seemed taken aback just now.” She opened the folder and pulled out Nicole’s progress report as well as several exams and the few assignments Nicole had actually turned in. Late, of course, but complete nonetheless. “I expected your brother Ryan.”

“He had business at the vineyard and sends his regrets.”

She couldn’t help notice how very deep and smooth his voice had become. Like hot buttered rum on a cold winter night. He had the kind of voice a woman could imagine whispering sweet nothings in her ear while he caressed her in places that tingled beneath his touch.

“I understand.” Snapping out of the fantasy, she imagined the enormous scope of duties Ryan Kincade must need to tend to after the death of their parents. Her heart sank a little further for the family. Especially for Nicole, who was so young and really needed the love and guidance of her mom and dad. “I hope you’ll accept my condolences. And I sincerely apologize for having you come down at this sorrowful time to deal with what might seem insignificant but—”

“Anything regarding my sister is important, Ms. Diamond. Now more than ever.” His brows dipped in a no nonsense fashion. “So don’t judge me when you don’t even know me.”

Oh, she knew him.

Knew he was the type who’d make a promise then shatter it without ever looking back.

But that was then, and this was now.

“My apologies, Mr. Kincade. That was certainly not my intent.”

His piercing eyes perused her face for a long, uncomfortable moment and she had to admit that the look did something funny to the beat of her heart.

Especially when with a slight tilt of his head he asked, “Why do you look so familiar?”

“Do I?” That erratic heartbeat kicked up another notch as she let go a chuckle to cover up what was really going on inside. “People say that all the time. I guess I just have one of those faces.”

She pushed Nicole’s schoolwork in his direction. “If you’ll take a look at these projects, you’ll see that even though she didn’t complete the assignment exactly as it was defined, Nicole has an enormous gift.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.”

“Excuse me?” Irritated, Lucy’s gaze shot up to the slight smile curling his lips. “How can you say that without even reading anything? I guarantee your sister has a multitude of talent.”

“I’m not talking about my sister’s work. I’m talking about you just having one of those faces.” He uncrossed his long, muscular legs and leaned forward without even looking at the papers she’d put in front of him. “So now I’m wondering why you sidestepped my question.”

Good God the man was intense. There was something in the combination of that nearly black hair that fell over his ears and his nape in perfect waves and those deep blue eyes that seemed almost otherworldly. She could imagine how he’d intimidate an opponent on the ice.

And it had nothing to do with his size.

But as far as admitting who she really was? Not going to happen. No need to dredge up a bad memory when all she really wanted was to help his sister.

“I apologize.” Her heart beat erratically as she avoided the intensity of his gaze. “But I would like to stick to the subject of your sister’s grades—or lack thereof—that may prevent her from graduating with the rest of her class. I genuinely care about her which is why I noticed a problem way before the loss of your parents.”

“And now you won’t even look at me,” he said. “Why is that?”

As he leaned in, his intoxicating scent came with him. Normally such things didn’t affect her. Well, at least not with her colleagues who tended to wear either too much aftershave or worse, too much body odor. Jordan wore his masculine scent like a sexual promise and Lucy swore he should come with a warning label.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
At first I thought this was going to be just another hockey player story, but was I wrong. The depth of character that Jordan demonstrates throughout the book is refreshing. As the book progresses, you see how the deaths of Jordan's parents affect him and who he strived to be for so long. Coming home is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially in light of all that's happened, and he can't help but feel on the outside looking in.

When Jordan meets with Lucy Diamond, one of his sister's teachers, he sees something in her eyes that takes him down memory lane and to the one person in high school that he had regrets about: Lucinda Nutter. Not knowing her story, but wanting to get to know the woman she is today, he sets out to both help his sister and learn more about Lucy.

The story takes a few twists and turns and set up the story nicely for the next book(s) in the series.

Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Better Man (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1) by Candis Terry to read and review for this tour.

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis Blog Tour


After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground...until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

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She eyed the bench a long beat but did eventually sit, perching primly as far from him as she could get and yet still be close enough to grab the bottle.

Smart woman.

She took the Scotch and drank. Her eyes watered and she coughed as she handed it to him. With a sigh, she leaned back to study the night sky. Her bared throat was slim and creamy smooth. An unexpected temptation. Remembering the flash of pain and vulnerability she’d unwittingly revealed, and that for whatever reason he’d somehow added to it, he spoke. “I’m sorry.”

She glanced at him as if she’d never heard a man apologize before in her life. “For…breathing?” she asked. “Having a penis? What?”

“You were upset because you didn’t know I was a Kincaid.”

She sighed. “That was just me looking for a reason to be mad at you so I wouldn’t…”

She bit her lower lip, clearly not wanting to go on.

But now he had to know. “So you wouldn’t what?”

“Nothing,” she said. “It’s just that I’m trying to make better choices.”

“Of which I wouldn’t be one.”

“It’s not necessarily your fault,” she said. “It’s that you’re a man.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“And I’m off men right now.”

“And on…women?” he asked with admittedly more than a little fascination.

She rolled her eyes. “I’m on no one, but thank you for proving my point on men.”

“I get that,” he said. “But being off men doesn’t seem to be making you very happy, or sound like a whole lot of fun.”

“Maybe I don’t need fun.”

He understood that. He’d felt the same way since Brett died. “What do you need?” he asked, honestly wanting to know more about her.

Instead of answering, she reached for the bottle. He waited until she met his gaze before letting go.

“Nothing,” she said a little too quickly. “Everything’s…perfect.”

“And your glass is half full,” he said. “So you’ve said.”

But he didn’t believe her. “How about a game?”

“I don’t play games.”

Now, that wasn’t exactly true. Whether she knew it or not, she’d been playing with his head since he’d first laid eyes on her. “Three truths and a lie,” he said.

She stared at him. “As in you tell me three truths and a lie, and I pick out the lie?”


She considered this. “What do I get if I win?”

“What do you want?”

For the briefest of beats, her gaze dropped to his mouth.

Oh, hell yeah, he thought. Want me

“My first boyfriend taught me that game,” she said.

“What did the winner get?”

“A kiss.”

Definitely still playing with his head… “Is that what you want, Sophie? A kiss?”

Again she stared at his mouth before dropping eye contact and wrapping that eye-stopping pink robe tighter around her body. “Do you?” she asked.

“Hell yes.”

Her gaze flew to his.

“Problem is,” he said conversationally, “if I kissed you, I don’t think I’d be able to stop.”

Her mouth literally fell open. The pulse at the base of her throat jumped. And she seemed to lose her words.

He went on. “But you should know, I don’t lose. That means you’ll have to tell me three truths and a lie.” And he’d hopefully get to know more about her.

She closed her mouth to bite her lower lip in what could’ve been indecision or excitement. Obviously he was hoping for the latter. “But hey, if you’re not sure you can handle losing, we can just forget about it,” he said.

The challenge lifted her chin and put sparks in her eyes. That’s it, babe. Show me what you’ve got.

“Bring it,” she said.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is an entertaining read – which finds the reader back in Cedar Ridge with familiar characters from previous books giving us updates on their progress, as well as the main story about black sheep, Jacob and recently divorced, Sophie.

There are so many lovely side moments in this book – with his Mum, his family in the bar, and undoubtedly the veteran event – which also brought on serious tears. Really good back home feelings were very real through this book – and the harsh words that kept him from his twin underpin much of his estrangement. It was interesting to read about the business, although it was very much in the periphery. Sophie's bustling around as a temp gave us some fun moments too - and some wonderfully poignant ones.

Obviously the two fascinating people that Jacob and Sophie are when together and when apart, gives us a fun romance in a serious situation for both of them. They both have to overcome some real inner demons to trust and to move forward in their lives. They really help each other grow up emotionally. There is also a good dose of angst, but Ms. Shalvis can be relied upon to sort out her budding romantics. I really enjoyed that we got a full story, and felt very satisfied by the ending.

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge #3) by Jill Shalvis to read and review for this tour.

Stirring Up Trouble by Savanna Grey Blog Tour

Badass Biker

Rusty Shannon is one tall, badass, retired Navy Seal that owns and operates the Bottom’s Up Bar with a no-nonsense attitude. He runs a tight ship and intimidates most people he comes into contact with. While his demeanor comes in handy running a bar, it also hasn’t hurt his social life. Women are attracted to his large build, sexy beard and taunting tattoos. Many women have taken a ride on his Harley, but none have captured his heart until he tastes Melanie’s Sweet Potato Pie.

Hometown Girl

Melanie Davis, known as Mel the Mediator, is the logical, peace-keeping one amongst her friends. So when trouble presents itself at the diner, and Rusty rushes to her rescue, she is both unprepared for the attraction she feels toward him and the fear that is resurrected from a long-past experience when holds her in his arms.

Feeling like he’s been sucker-punched, Rusty grumbles around for several days not wanting to admit the effect Melanie has over him. That is until he realizes he isn’t the only one under her spell. When competition presents itself for her heart, Rusty is determined to stir things up. He’s never lost a mission and doesn’t intend to start now. Too much is at stake.

While opposites attract, will Melanie choose the safe and comfortable path or will she open herself up and face her fears to find a happiness beyond measure in the unknown?

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Stirring Up Trouble is the third in the Garrett's Point series. I have not read any others in the series and found that Stirring Up Trouble can be read as a standalone without issue.

Melanie Davis is the owner of the local diner. When she's held at gun point and the one man that's at the diner to help her is Rusty. She's always had a thing for Rusty and she's grateful that he was the one there to save her. Rusty is the owner of the Bottom's Up Bar. There is something about Melanie and her blue eyes that Rusty can't shake. If Rusty doesn't act fast, he may lose his chance with Melanie. He realizes he's not the only one who is interested in her.

This was a quick, light-hearted read. You get invested and feel the draw to the characters within the first chapter. This is my first read from this author and I will be looking for others.

This is a sweet, quick, enjoyable read!

Melanie is the owner of a local diner and she’s always been a bit straight-laced. She’s been casually seeing Jeremy, but there just isn’t a spark. When someone attempts to rob the diner Rusty, the sexy owner of Bottom’s Up Bar, steps in and saves Melanie. The sparks fly between the two and Melanie gets a dose of what chemistry actually feels like. When Melanie learns that the man who attempted to rob her diner is actually the father of two young kids who has lost his job, she sets out to help him get back on his feet. Rusty doesn’t want Melanie attempting to help the man alone, so working together, the two get closer than they bargained for.

I love the way Rusty and Melanie’s relationship progress. I absolutely love Melanie. She has such a huge heart and it was awesome the way she stepped up to help the man who almost robbed her. This was an original plot line that I quite enjoyed. I look forward to reading more from Savanna Grey!

Wife and mother of three daughters and one son, life is never dull. I fell in love with the written word as a young girl. My enchantment with the act of falling in love was cemented after reading Pride and Prejudice in the 10th grade.

I love being able to crawl inside a book as if I am a bystander watching it all unfold live. Now that's a good book!

My desire is to share my fictional friends with you so that they become your friends too! When you read my books, if you don't end it by saying "Best Imaginary Friends EVER!" then I haven't done what I set out to do.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stirring Up Trouble (Garrett's Point #3) by Savanna Grey to read and review for this tour.

Cover Reveal – Devil’s Kiss by Ella Frank

What do you do when the one you least expect to matter…
Ends up mattering the most?

Derek Pearson likes to think he’s an easygoing guy. Uncomplicated, upfront, and unapologetic with what he wants. His what you see is what you get attitude is on prominent display for anyone who cares to look, and his foul mouth is right there to back it up should you miss the point.

However, what you see isn’t always what you get, and only a select few have ever glimpsed the real man under the brash exterior.

Among them? Professor Jordan Devaney. Complicated, high-maintenance, and vibrant, he’s Derek’s opposite in every way. From the moment they saw each other, a love-hate relationship began.

But what happens when one person wants more?

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Book 2
Releases May 24th

Also Available in the Sunset Cove Series

Book 1
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~ Available on KindleUnlimited ~

Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web and on Facebook.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

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Cover Designer: Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art
Front Cover Photographer: Eric Battershell of Eric Battershell Photography
Back Cover Photographer: Wander Aguiar of Wander Aguiar Photography
Cover Model: Jason Dickson
Cover Model: Ryan VanDyke

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy by Chris Scully

Growing up Greek-Canadian, Peter Georgiou always knew his duty was to his family, for whom twenty-first century rules don’t apply. In his early thirties, Peter still lives at home, dates who his parents tell him to, and works at the family restaurant. But watching his two best friends find happiness in each other’s arms has made him worry over his destiny.

When Louie Papadakis returns home to nurse his broken heart and start a new life, he can’t believe his sister is dating his high school crush, Peter. There’s a sadness behind Peter’s eyes that draws him in, and a chemistry he wishes he could ignore. After his closeted ex broke his heart, Louie is afraid to fall in love again, especially with a man who's keeping secrets.

As Peter finds himself drawn to Louie in unexpected ways, old and new worlds collide. Then a family crisis forces Peter’s hand, and he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness for family duty.

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Dreamspinner  Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Happy Stars.

I was in a feral mood when I began this book. To be totally honest, I was getting on my own nerves, and this angry, volatile, and unsettling mood isn't my norm. Upon starting Happy, I was able to relax, and well, I felt – HAPPY

Our narrators are Peter and Louie. Peter is a loyal, hard-working man who has never truly lived his own life. Greek, his family moved to Canada when he was a baby. They opened up a Greek restaurant, and their entire lives surrounded it. Once, Peter escaped, only to be drawn back when his father had a heart attack. While he's there to help, his father won't let him. Then there is the mother – she knows who Peter truly is and it terrifies her, so she's always arranging his future marriages to nice Greek women. While on the surface, his parents sound awful, as the only child, Peter understands they love him, need him, and don't want to lose him. All of their issues stem from very real, everyday fears parents have, so even though they frustrated me, I appreciated their actions/reactions.

Peter is trapped. He's sad. He's not sexually confused, so don't get up-in-arms over what he wants in a partner. He knows exactly who he is, and is only willing to either make his mother happy or break her heart for the one. He had thought he found the one before, but Elena crushed him when she married another. Now Peter is dating a nice Greek girl five years his junior.

In walks Louie. The girlfriend's big brother, who's home after a bad breakup with a bi guy who is trapped in the closet. Out and proud, sick of feeling like their community's pariah. Louie will hide nothing, and he won't deal with someone who will.

I thoroughly enjoy Chris Scully's writing style. It's fluid, flowing from scene to scene in a realistic way. The characters are always developed and easy for the reader to identify with. Peter and Louie's relationship grows over the course of the book. The journey is friendship laced with attraction. Their need to spend time with each other, to learn each other on all levels, instead of just lying in bed getting sexual gratification, was a breath of fresh air. It made it feel real for me as a reader, instead of the story buried beneath the lust. Not that anything is wrong with a 100% lusty book, but sometimes I want some more depth than just a good time. After the slow-burn, it was hotter than Hades. I felt like I was being rewarded right alongside the characters.

The side cast of characters were developed, enjoyable and interesting, made real with flaws and all. I need to ask if Joe & Adam have their own book somewhere. It just felt like they may have. If anyone knows, can they let me know? If not, I'm satisfied with what I read of them. If so, I'd love to read it. The reason I ask is because Happy is listed as not in a series.

As I said, I started Happy in a bad mood, an illogical female mood if you catch my drift. Like taking a happy pill, I spent four hours smiling to myself, chuckling underneath my breath, and blushing with the characters. Happy was sweet, Happy was frustrating, and Happy was entertaining as all get out.

MM romance fans will adore this story and its characters. Previously I've only read Until September by Chris Scully, and look forward to more of her stories in the future.

The story starts with Peter contemplating if he is Happy. He clearly is not. He gave up his career to help his father run the family restaurant, which is firmly stuck in the 1980s and he lives in his parents’ basement. While he dates girls and was once engaged, he clearly has a preference for men.

When Peter meets his girlfriend's brother Louie, there is instant attraction and Peter starts to feel happy for the first time in a long time. Louie is coming out of a relationship with a guy who was in the closest and makes it clear he has no time for a relationship and certainly not one that he would have to hide.

I grew up in a community with a high Greek population so I loved the setting for this book. The author does a great job showing the divide between the older generation who grew up in Greece and the younger generation who grew up in Canada. It is clear that Peter has sacrificed his happiness to please his parents. On the other side of the coin, Louie followed his heart and came out which was detrimental to his relationship with his Greek Orthodox parents.

I loved Peter and Louie. They are easy to relate to and their struggle between doing what is right for you and makes you happy versus pleasing your parents and others is an easy one to relate to. Their relationship is a lovely slow burn, complicated by, among other things, Peter dating Louie's sister.

I devoured Happy in about 3 hours. Reading Happy made me happy and I can't ask more from a book than that.

I have the utmost respect for families who follow to the Old World traditions of their heritage. But that doesn’t keep me from getting frustrated for characters whose lives are made more difficult by such traditions, whether it be a daughter wanting to marry a man of a different race, a son wanting to marry a woman outside of his religion, or a young man who is attracted to other men, faced with his parents’ constant harping at him to settle down and start a family – with the expectation that he will marry a wife of their choosing – all while being afraid to come out to his parents for fear of being disowned. Yes, I can respect traditions and at the same time be immensely thankful that I wasn’t born into such a family.

Unfortunately for Peter, he was born Greek and that comes with a slew of expectations he’s beginning to realize that he cannot meet. After a failed engagement and his father’s heart attack, Peter moved into his parent’s basement and began working at the family restaurant – after he quit his job in the city’s Economic Development Office – with the promise that he would be running it, never materializing. Honestly, I don’t know how Peter kept living his life, day after day, not getting to do anything that made him happy, all for the sake of a family who, while they love him, show no appreciation for his sacrifices in life. As the only child, he is expected to do what his family needs without regard to his own happiness. And then, a little ray of sunshine enters his dreary world in the form of his fiancée’s younger brother, Louie. Louie is an out and proud Greek man whose family tolerates him because they don’t know how to reconcile their love for their son with their religion’s views on homosexuality, and he’s just moved back home after having his heart broken by a man who was more concerned with public appearances than with Louie. What begins as friendship soon becomes a cause for concern for Peter because Louie is making it hard for Peter to keep his attraction for men hidden, and Peter’s not so sure he wants to continue hiding either.

One of the things I liked about Happy was that rather than Louie serving as the catalyst for Peter realizing he’s gay, he was the push behind Peter’s coming out to his parents. Peter knew that he was gay, but also knew what was expected of him as a dutiful Greek son. So despite his homosexuality, he was determined to make his parents happy, even if that meant marrying a woman and living a lie. Why? Because he’d never met a man worth coming out for, at least not until Louie. And even when he began to realize that Louie might be worth his parents’ disappointment and judgment, Peter didn’t rush into the decision, and took it so slow that Louie began to think he was again being relegated to dirty little secret status.  Another thing that I enjoyed about the book is that while Louie still finds his high school crush attractive, Peter is no longer the Greek god he was in high school. Scully painted the picture of a just-beginning-to-age Greek man, complete with the softening around the middle and the early stages of a receding hairline. Not the perfect man, but the man perfect for Louie. But I think my favorite part of the book, besides watching Peter fall for Louie, was the unexpected quarter from which Peter found support for his relationship with Louie. To say I was shocked does not even do my reaction justice – I think my jaw may have actually dropped open. Happy was a book that made me just that when I read it…happy…even if it took me on quite the journey to get there. Scully has secured her place on my “authors to stalk” list.

Chris Scully lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.

Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.

Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Happy by Chris Scully to read and review.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne Blog Tour

Meet New York's Finest-three hot brothers sworn to protect and serve the city they love...and the women who've stolen their hearts.


Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD's top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl's heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he'll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life...

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“There’s something wrong with a man that grins like that at a crime scene.”

Detective Vincent Moretti glanced up from where he’d been studying the gunshot wound of the vic and glared at the officer who’d been shadowing him for the past three months.

“I wasn’t grinning.”

Detective Tyler Dansen never paused in scribbling in the black notebook he carried everywhere. “You were definitely grinning.”


Dansen glanced up. “Fine. Maybe not grinning. But I’m one hundred percent sure I saw you smile.”

“How about you be one hundred percent sure about who shot this guy instead?” Vincent said irritably.

Dansen returned his attention to his damn notebook, but he didn’t look particularly chagrined by Vin’s reprimand.

Oh, what Vin wouldn’t give to go back to those early days when all he’d had to do was look at Dansen, and the kid practically dropped into a deferential bow.

Three months of spending every workday in each other’s company had the newly minted detective acting nearly as impudent as Vincent’s actual partner.

Nearly being an important distinction, because Vincent didn’t think they made ’em sassier, more stubborn, or more annoying than Detective Jill Henley.

And he would know. They’d been partners for six long years, and their pairing up as partners was proof of God’s sense of humor.

Jill Henley was Vincent’s opposite in every way.

Jill was chipper, charming, and smiley.

Vincent was... none of those things.

Especially not the last one. Although, if he was being really honest with himself, Dansen may have been right about Vincent cracking a smile earlier.

It’s not that Vin was immune to death. There was absolutely nothing humorous about a man lying cold in his own blood and guts, dead from a gunshot wound to the stomach.

But after six years as a homicide DT for the NYPD, one learned to compartmentalize. To let the brain occasionally go somewhere else other than death even as you were staring straight at it.

It was the only way to survive. Otherwise it was nothing but puking and nightmares.

And speaking of puking...

Vincent stood and gave Detective Dansen a once-over.

“If you’re gonna barf, do it outside,” he said, just to needle the younger man.

Dansen threw his arms up in exasperation. “That was one time. One time! And I hear it happens to everyone on their first day.”

“Didn’t happen to me.”

“That’s because you’re a machine,” Dansen muttered under his breath.

Vincent didn’t respond to this. It was nothing he hadn’t heard before. Robot. Machine. Automaton.

He just didn’t know what people expected him to do about it.

In the movies, there was always some reason for the semi-mechanical, unfeeling action hero.

Either a dead wife, an abusive past, or some other sort of jacked-up emotional history. But Vincent had always sort of figured he’d been born this way. Quiet. Reserved. Broody.

It’s not that he didn’t feel. Of course he did. He just didn’t feel out loud. He wasn’t sure that he really knew how to, and wasn’t sure he wanted to learn.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 stars
This is the story of Vincent, the quietest and most unreadable Moretti brother to date – but he is as deserving as his brothers, no doubt. If you haven't read the previous stories yet, then I recommend that you do – as they help with context, and are good reads – but it is a lovely story in its own right too.

Partners in the NYPD for six years, and he really hasn't clued in to Jill's feelings at all – but when confronted with the possibility of living without his best friend, poor Vin is thrown for six. All the advice is meaningless if he can't take a risk. His Momma, Maria, gets some truly wonderful lines in this book – and actually so does his Dad. The buildup is slow and delicious, and well worth the wait.

I do hope that Ms. Layne is busy writing the next installment, because I cherish these tales.

I really liked this story, it’s a great detective read!

Vincent Moretti doesn’t really do emotion, he’s always considered himself an outsider who doesn’t fit in anywhere. He’s from a huge Italian family and doesn’t really feel like he connects with his siblings. The one person he looks forward to being around is his partner, Jill Henley, whom has had to take a sabbatical from work to care for her mother out of state. Now that she is returning home, Vincent realizes how much he’s missed her and wants to ask her on a real date. The only problem, Jill comes back engaged to a man she met while at her mother’s house.

Jill Henley wants a happily ever after so badly she’s willing to settle for a relationship with no spark. She’s been close to the Moretti family since Vincent first brought her around for dinner and she’s now close friends with Vincent’s sister who knows that Jill’s feelings for her brother are more than just partners. Jill doesn’t think her extremely moody partner even likes her, let alone has feelings beyond that for her and she just wants happiness, that’s why when her short-time boyfriend proposes, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Now Vincent realizes he can’t lose her and sets out to win her away from her new fiancé.

I loved Jill and Vincent’s relationship(s) friends, partners, and then lovers. It was an interesting, original plotline that I found very enjoyable. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Also Available in the New York's Finest Series

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

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

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

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