Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Chase by Sidney Bristol

The Classic Rides crew takes on top secret at top speed—and chases the same thrills between the sheets...

For Gabriel, the FBI is just a painful memory. His new team of motorheads may work for the Feds undercover, but they’re nothing like the backstabbers and bureaucrats he left behind. Hunting drug dealers and smugglers in Miami gets him the adrenaline rush he wants and the justice he needs. All that’s missing is the seal on the badge—and Nikki, his sexy ex-partner.

Until she shows up at his garage, wearing short shorts and a look that spells trouble. Nikki has never forgotten the heartbreak Gabriel left her with last time. Even if she can’t have him, she still has to work with him. There’s a homegrown terrorist recruiting military vets to a cult of fear and deception, and they all have roots in Miami.

It will take Gabriel and all the Classic Rides crew to stop a catastrophe. But in close quarters with sparks flying, it’s only a matter of time before the old flame ignites...

Add to Goodreads

Book 3
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the third book in the series – and I would recommend that you read them in order if you can, as the crew all appear in each story, although only one is the feature of each romance. It is good to catch up with the earlier couples, and watch as the next one falls!

Here Gabriel gets a second chance at love with his FBI ex-girlfriend. Nikki is most definitely the one that got away – or is she the one that he left behind along with his FBI days? As their story unfolds, we cannot help but wonder how two intelligent people who so clearly love each other, could let each other go. As they realise that they need to admit to the issues which plagued them before, they will have to work hard to build a surer foundation for the future.

In addition to the romance is a fast-paced, complex, and dastardly plot, which has the crew racing around and relying on local cop Matt to be in the right place at the right time. This team is still dealing with the fallout from the previous book, as well as now dealing with a home grown terrorist threat. It was the perfect backdrop to the issues faced by Gabe and Nikki.

If you want a good substantial read, with plenty going on, and an intense second chance romance, then this will fit the bill.

Also Available in the Hot Rides Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Drive Blog Tour.

Book 2
Buy Links

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

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

It can never be said that NYT & USA Today Bestselling author Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and fostering cats.

Connect with Sidney

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Chase (Hot Rides #3) by Sidney Bristol to read and review.

Man & Beast by Michael Jensen

What is the line that separates man from beast?

The year is 1797, and 24-year-old John Chapman is lost on the American frontier with winter falling fast. Near death, he stumbles upon a lone cabin, and the owner, a rugged but sexy frontiersman named Daniel McQuay, agrees to let John winter over.

John and Daniel quickly find themselves drawn to each other, the sex between them unlike anything John has ever known. But as the weeks turn into snowbound months, Daniel begins to change into someone brutish, and the line between man and beast disappears.

With the arrival of spring, John flees, eventually finding refuge in the company of a group of frontier outcasts, including a brash young settler named Palmer. But in the wilds of this savage land, love is not so easily tamed, and John soon finds himself calling upon the raging animal within him to save the man he loves.

Man & Beast, which The Advocate calls “equal parts romance novel and history lesson, heaped with sex and violence,” is the first book in the Savage Lands, a series that celebrates the untold gay history of the American frontier. Man & Beast is for fans of Harper Fox, Jerry Cole, K.J. Charles, and Mary Renault, as well as anyone who enjoys pulse-pounding suspense and romance.

Author’s Note: Man & Beast was previously published under the title Frontiers.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

At times I really enjoyed this book and at other times it seemed to drag on. There were two parts of the book and each had a different feel. The first part was darker and more depressing, while the second was a little lighter and more uplifting. I liked John Chapman a lot, he went through some crap that is for sure. I don’t normally read this genre, but this book was good, just a little wordy at times and not enough dialogue for me.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes
Religious: It was mentioned a lot
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: First in series
Genre: M/M
Would I read more by this author: Yes

Michael Jensen is an author and editor. His books of gay historical fiction include two series, The Drowning World, which is set in 5500 B.C., and The Savage Land, which takes place on the American frontier. Man & Monster, the second book in The Savage Land series, was a Lambda Award Finalist (under the title Firelands).

Michael is also the co-founder of, which covered pop culture for gay and bisexual men, and eventually become one of the largest and most influential LGBT websites on the internet. In 2006, was sold to MTV/Viacom in a multimillion dollar deal. As editor, Michael interviewed hundreds of writers, directors, and actors, breaking numerous stories and advancing the issue of LGBT visibility in Hollywood.

Michael lives in Seattle, WA with his husband, writer Brent Hartinger.

Connect with Michael

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Man & Beast (The Savage Land #1) by Michael Jensen to read and review.

Open Hearts by Logan Meredith

Firefighter Asim Bishara knows it’s time to start living again. For years he’s avoided dealing with his estrangement from his Muslim family and the loss of his first love in the 9/11 attack. Through therapy, Asim begins to heal and combat his own self-loathing. He’s ready to leave his loneliness and isolation behind and find love again.

Moving on is proving more difficult for Ángel Stanford. When Ángel’s husband Zach died, Ángel’s dreams of a home and family perished along with him. He always wanted to be a stay-at-home husband and father, but he never imagined he’d be raising Gracie alone. The closer he gets to the handsome firefighter—and the more Asim becomes a part of his and Gracie’s life—the more Ángel feels like he’s betraying Zach. Ángel has to give himself permission to be happy and realize that while nothing will ever replace the life he had before, the future for him and his daughter can be full of happiness… if he’s willing to reach out and take it.

Add to Goodreads

Book 3
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This story about grief is a difficult, but thought provoking read. Less than a year after the sudden death of his husband, Ángel finds his attraction to Asim very difficult to accept. Fourteen years after 9/11, Asim is still mourning the loss of his family, his culture, and his first love. Closeted Asim struggles to accept his sexuality and Ángel’s flamboyant sexuality initially brings out the worst in him.

While I felt deep empathy for both of these men, I found it difficult to truly love either of them. Both men make choices that hurt each other and the people around them. Angel’s fear of commitment is realistic, but it makes for a very angsty romance. Fourteen years hiding in a closet have deprived Asim of confidence and made him more than a little bit clingy. Neither man is always likeable.

The actual romance is long and slow with very little story to support the relationship. I grew a little bit tired of the hesitant, tentative relationship at times. But there were sweet and tender moments that redeemed the men and made me cheer for their relationship.

Readers will need to be in the right headspace for this story because it is heavy and dark at times. This is a sensitive exploration of grief and new love, and the writer shares some important insights with her readers.

LOGAN MEREDITH began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started typing their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.

At first, she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fanfiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened: new characters arrived and started demanding their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and re-reading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.

Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and marriage equality campaigns.

Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.

Connect with Logan

Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Open Hearts (Heartland #3) by Logan Meredith to read and review.

Rules for a Rogue by Christy Carlyle

Kit Ruthven's Rules (for Rogues)

#1 Love freely but guard your heart, no matter how tempting the invader.

#2 Embrace temptation, indulge your sensual impulses, and never apologize.

#3 Scorn rules and do as you please. You are a rogue, after all.

Rules never brought anything but misery to Christopher “Kit” Ruthven. After rebelling against his controlling father and leaving the family’s etiquette empire behind, Kit has been breaking every one imaginable for the past four years. He’s enjoyed London’s sensual pleasures, but he’s failed to achieve the success he craves as London’s premier playwright. When his father dies, Kit returns to the countryside and is forced back into the life he never wanted. Worse, he must face Ophelia Marsden, the woman he left behind years before.

After losing her father, Ophelia has learned to rely on herself. To maintain the family home and support her younger sister, she tutors young girls in deportment and decorum. But her pupils would be scandalized if they knew she was also the author of a guidebook encouraging ladies to embrace their independence.

As Kit rediscovers the life, and the woman, he left behind, Ophelia must choose between the practicalities she never truly believed in, or the love she’s never been able to extinguish.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Avon Romance

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

If you're a historical romance fan, you know there are tropes that are generally included in the novel. A feisty heroine (either a feminist in the making or marriage-minded), either a stuffy or roguish hero, siblings dependent on the H/h, death in the family where the man becomes the head of the household, a past (together), scandal, debt, an unwanted love interest the H/h wants out of the picture, one in the couple dragging their feet, and a ball where something either good/bad happens. On top of all that, there are always a few couples introduced who will get the next few books.

Rules for a Rogue is no different, having each and every trope mentioned above. However, Kit and Ophelia did give the reader a fresh take, which had me reading voraciously until almost the end.

Kit and Phee have been friends since they were children, but Kit's overbearing father was controlling, so he left Phee behind to start a career as playwright in London. While Kit loved Phee, he broke her heart.

Phee is a strong woman. After losing her mother when she was a teenager, leaving Phee to raise a toddler little sister, then her best friend whom she thought she'd marry one day left for the limelight. After all that, her father passed, leaving Phee as the breadwinner. A single female in England, whose options are marriage or allow the house to fall down around her head. But Phee, she is made of sterner stuff, and she refuses to marry for money. She's a survivor, and she found an ingenious yet scandalous career as an etiquette writer (writing the opposite of what a good lady should be). The only problem, Phee is a tutor to fine young ladies, teaching the archaic tenets she doesn't believe in.

Kit is a scoundrel, a playwright who loves the stage, but his heart is always seeking Phee. When his father passes, he's thrust back into Phee's orbit.

What follows on the pages is a cat and mouse game. Will-they-or-won't-they. Tension. Hunger. Lust. Love. With a ton of angst, I was pulled right into the story and didn't stop until I'd finished the novel. One of the brightest spots for me was the female empowerment. All the women supported each other, true friendships were forged, and the siblings wanted nothing but the best for each other. Nothing catty, silly, grating on the nerves to read. With the rules Phee believes young ladies should live by, it was icing on the cake to see all the women rally around one another in support.

The following didn't affect my rating, because it's found in most historical romances. The book was slightly too long, repetitious. Too much indecision for an empowered woman. Too much running away instead of just getting to the heart of it, purely because to do so would have shaved off the page-count. One or two times in a novel, I won't even notice. Near the end of the novel, I was very close to just skipping to the ending, because it was pretty much events that wouldn't have happened – again – if someone would have been honest/decisive/took what they wanted with their empowered self, both on Phee's and Kit's part.

*Note: Not a ton of purple prose, over-description, or right-clicking to change words via the thesaurus. I felt the need to mention this, as some hisro readers love those things. I don't, which is why I was entertained without having to wade through the tedium.

Recommended to Christy Carlyle fans and readers of Historical Romance. I can't wait to read the next in the series, no doubt featuring Sophie and Grey – sounds like another deliciously angsty read on the horizon.

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

Connect with Christy

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Rules for a Rogue (Romancing the Rules #1) by Christy Carlyle to read and review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Luke by R.C. Ryan is Now Available & Reviewed

In the New York Times bestselling tradition of Linda Lael Miller and Diana Palmer, comes the second book in R.C. Ryan's new series about the Malloy brothers, Montana ranchers who find love while uncovering the dark secrets of their past.

Wild. Reckless. Stubborn. That's Luke Malloy in a nutshell. The solitary life of a rancher and the untamed Montana wilderness make him feel alive-and nothing will ever change that. Not even being thrown from his horse and forced to accept a stranger's help. The fact that this stranger is a beautiful blonde with a passion for ranching that rivals his own doesn't hurt. But there's a secret she's hiding, and Luke won't rest until he uncovers it...

Ingrid Larsen doesn't need anyone's help. Not with managing her family's ranch. Not with raising her little sister. And certainly not with the mysterious incidents occurring on her property. When this too-sexy-for-his-own-good cowboy needs a place to recover, she hopes he'll be in and out in no time flat. But just as she's beginning to trust Luke's promise of protection, Ingrid's secret threatens to tear them apart.

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Luke lifted a hand to the corn silk strands dancing around her cheeks.

At once her smile fled and she jerked back. “Don’t. I told you before. I’m not Nadine.”

His eyes narrowed on her. “For the record, there’s no way I’d ever confuse you with your mother.”

“Then don’t try playing those games with me.”

“What games are we talking about?”

“You know exactly what I mean. All those sexy moves.”

“Really? Sexy?” He was grinning as he reached a hand to her hair. “Like this?”

Her chin came up. “If you want lots of hair, reach for Nadine’s.”

“Is that why you chopped yours off?” He allowed a silken strand to sift through his fingers. “To prove a point?”

“Well, aren’t you the brilliant observer. For the record, there are a lot of things Nadine does that I refuse to do. I don’t bother with makeup. And—”

“—and you try to hide your gorgeous body under this bulky shirt.” He fingered the rough collar. His smile was quick and charming. “I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not working.”

She slapped his hand away. “Stop trying to be clever. I know what I am. I’m a rancher who’s struggling to stay on the land I love. A big sister working overtime to raise Lily to be the best she can.”

“You forgot the most important thing. You’re a woman.” His voice lowered to a near growl. “Maybe you’d like to forget that, but it’s impossible for me to overlook the fact that you’re not just a woman, but a gorgeous, amazing, very independent woman.”

She actually gasped as he leaned close.

“Just so you know, I’m going to kiss you, Ingrid.” His arms came around her and he gathered her close.

He’d known her lips would be soft and inviting. Had known it from the first time he’d looked at them. But he wasn’t prepared for the taste of her. Sweet, yet tart. So strong, and yet he could feel the way her breath hitched, alerting him to her unease.

All woman, and yet fighting it. She kept her hands at her sides, refusing to give him any encouragement.

“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. So don’t be afraid.” He spoke the words inside her mouth.

“I’m not—”

“Just for a moment, Ingrid, let yourself enjoy something.”

She responded with a soft purr in the back of her throat. For the space of a heartbeat he could feel her relax in his arms as she gave herself up to the moment.

A burst of heat shot through Luke’s veins. His heartbeat was thundering, keeping time with hers. He changed the angle of the kiss and took it deeper, until he could actually feel the fire.

The ground tilted beneath his feet, and he knew he was losing control. He hadn’t meant to take it this far. None of this had been planned. He’d merely wanted to kiss her and tease her a little. But now, too late, he realized that one taste of these lips would never be enough.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Luke Malloy is the classic middle child. Adventurous, witty, hardworking, reliable, and free-spirited. Growing up on the Malloy Ranch, Luke couldn't have asked for more, except for his parents to have survived the car crash that killed them when he was ten, leaving him, older brother Matt, and younger brother Reed to be raised by their grandparents. It’s clear that Luke loves his grandparents, but there's a longing inside him that wonders if maybe his dad would have understood his need to walk the unbeaten path.

Luke also likes to champion the underdog and that's exactly what Ingrid Larsen is. Ingrid found Luke unconscious, high in the mountains, and lugged him home and out of the storm. In repayment of her kindness, Luke stays at her family's ranch doing chores and getting to know the quiet and closed off Ingrid.

When Luke meets her mother, Nadine, he begins to understand Ingrid and the reasons she has to be the way she is. Ingrid is basically a one woman show. She's running the ranch without the benefit of any ranch hands, dealing with late notices, missing cattle, and potentially no feed for her herd during the winter months. All Luke sees is a gorgeous woman who stands tall and proud. Fearless and courageous in the face of danger.

Luke knows that getting Ingrid to like him will take time, but being the free spirit that he is, he knows once he can get Ingrid to play and relax with him, she'll love him in no time.

This is the second book in the series – and even though I read book one back in April, and have read hundreds in between, I was immediately back with the Malloys and remembered all the family and their ways. I would highly recommend that you read Matt first, as it will definitely enrich the experience. Luke is a very different brother to Matt, and his rough and ready ways do not really hint at the potential for romance – but read on and find out how he falls!

The start is pretty dramatic, and sets up the first meeting between Ingrid and Luke as being more than just a casual encounter. Once Luke's protective, help others streak is awakened, we can only sit back and watch everything unfold. I loved the larger than life characters that we are given, and the bit parts are just as important as the leads in giving us a well-rounded and captivating story.

I loved the brothers' grandparents so much last time, so having them back and helping out, was brilliant – and one cannot fail to mention Yancy and The Great One. The writing brings all these people to life and the backdrop of the Montana mountains makes me think of cowboy films and big, open country vistas. These books would definitely convert to film well – although some of the hotter scenes would have to be implied! Oh, and the mystery of the brothers' parents’ deaths was also reopened... so will be interesting to see where that goes next too.

Luke and Ingrid are not the usual pairing one might expect, but their romance makes for exciting, happy, and hopeful reading – I definitely recommend it to you.

Also Available in the Malloys of Montana Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Matt Release Blitz.

New York Times bestselling author R.C. Ryan has written more than ninety novels, both contemporary and historical. Quite an accomplishment for someone who, after her fifth child started school, gave herself the gift of an hour a day to follow her dream to become a writer.

In a career spanning more than twenty years, Ms. Ryan has given dozens of radio, television, and print interviews across the country and Canada, and has been quoted in such diverse publications as the Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan. She has also appeared on CNN News, and Good Morning America.

R.C. Ryan is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ryan Langan.

Connect with R.C.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Luke (Malloys of Montana #2) by R.C. Ryan to read and review.

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth...

When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Max and Charlotte are both pragmatic, down to earth people. Amongst the uncertainty of their investigation into the disappearance of Charlotte's sister, Jocelyn, and the death of Jocelyn's best friend, Louise, they fall in love. Their romance, like the characters themselves, is understated and subdued.

The star of this story is the mystery. Was Louise murdered or was it actually suicide? How does it link back to Jocelyn's disappearance, their investment club, and Jocelyn's rape in college? I enjoyed watching the many threads of this story unfold and then come together. Different parts of the story are told from the parts of the various players involved, so at times we know more of what is going on than our investigators. The mystery was engaging and the sprinkles of danger and romance kept it interesting. This is a good one for mystery buffs.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive! ~ Walter Scott

That pretty much sums up When All the Girls Have Gone in my opinion. Krentz has once again combined the elements that make a romantic suspense truly enjoyable – murder, secrets, lies, betrayals, action, and romance – and this book has them in spades. As such, it kept me up until two in the morning so I could finish it because I had to know who did what and why they did it. You see, there are several crimes and cover-ups that occur in the novel and even when I knew who did what, I still had to know why they did it.

There’s not going to be a lot of detail in my review because of the overlapping plotlines, and I don’t want to ruin the story for potential readers. The Walter Scott quote I used is very telling because the crime that leads to Max and Charlotte’s paths crossing sets off an investigation into the unsolved rape of Charlotte’s sister and a decade’s worth of secrets begin to unravel. What made this a particularly intriguing tale for me, is that even when I figured out parts of the story or the author revealed the identity of a culprit, there were still conspiracies to be uncovered, motives to be revealed, and lives to be saved. And just when I thought I had it figured out, another thread was pulled and a new set of questions arose. In short, this is not simply a murder mystery. As Charlotte and Max investigate, they get to know one another and they like what they learn. There might be an instant physical attraction, but as both have been badly burned in the past, it is not an instant love connection. They’re cautious and they take their time, neither making an attempt to move past their semi-working relationship to an intimate one until midway through the book. This slow progression of the romance allows it to feel more real as they build a foundation for a possible future together, assuming someone doesn’t kill them first.

The next part of my review may seem weird, but stick with me because I want you to stick with the book. One of my co-reviewers could not finish the book, it was too slow moving for her, I think she called it tedious. Now I’ve been reading Krentz for close to 25 years, having first discovered her writing as a teen, initially as Amanda Quick and then as Krentz. I love her writing style. For me, it’s akin to assembling a puzzle as she begins by giving the reader the information necessary to “frame” the story. Then little by little, she fills in the pieces, revealing some sections quicker than others, so that the reader gets part of the story while others are still obscured. It’s not until the final pieces are added during the post-mortem discussion of the case that the full picture can be seen and the puzzle completed. In the case of When All the Girls Have Gone, Krentz reveals who at least one of the bad guys is well before the end of the book, but for me that merely increased the suspense because I knew there was more to the story – we are talking conspiracies here – so knowing who it was, wasn’t enough for me. And even when all was said and done, Krentz dropped a beautiful bomb at the end that confirmed suspicions that I didn’t want to believe; it was perfect! While there is nothing that indicates this book is the first in a series, I do hope that Krentz takes advantage of the opening she left herself and writes a sequel or two about Max’s brothers because there’s a mystery there begging to be solved.

The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, Jayne Ann Krentz uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds.” As Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses Amanda Quick for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. Jayne Castle (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.

“I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names,” she says. “The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books.”

In addition to her fiction writing, she is the editor of, and a contributor to, a non-fiction essay collection, DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: ROMANCE WRITERS ON THE APPEAL OF THE ROMANCE published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.  Her commitment to her chosen genre has been strong from the very beginning of her career.  Each year at the annual convention of the Romance Writers of America she participates in a special day-long workshop for librarians and speaks on the importance of the romance genre.

“The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story,” Jayne says.  “These are books that celebrate women’s heroic virtues and values:  courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love.”

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California.  Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Connect with Jayne

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of When All the Girls Have Gone (Cutler, Sutter & Salinas #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz to read and review.

Death Dancer by Tara Lain

A tattooed dancer and a by-the-book detective dance with death in the ego-fueled halls of ballet.

Bad boy of ballet Valentin ‘Val’ Aalto stands poised on the verge of huge success—except for one big obstacle. Influential lead dancer Harry Hardesty hates Val and cheats him out of the lead in Romeo and Juliet.

When Hardesty winds up dead, Val looks like a prime suspect—and gets thrown under the detailed and methodical inspection of the handsome NY detective with the stick up his butt, Andrew Preston. At first, Preston believes Hardesty may be the victim of the chilling Dancer Killer who’s struck three victims, but evidence stacks up against Val.

Still, Andrew can’t seem to keep his hands off his suspect and when the Dancer Killer starts stalking Val, Andrew is forced to choose between his dedication to a job he loves and his growing passion for his beautiful dancer. Together Val and Andrew discover that chaos can be beautiful, one should choose desserts wisely, and love can even trump death in the rehearsal halls of ballet.

Reader Advisory: This book contains descriptions of murder scenes, brief allusions to past child abuse and a scene of violence.

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Val, an aspiring principal dancer, is a wonderful character and I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity and drama as the police chase a serial killer targeting the dancers in his company. Skinny, catty, and bitchy, the dancers and management at NYBT reinforce every stereotype about the world of professional dancing. I loved the complex politics and complicated relationships in this story.

I enjoyed the suspense, especially as Val finds himself being pursued by the killer. Frustratingly, the killer’s identity was disappointingly predictable from the halfway point (or possibly even earlier) and I found Val’s blindness to obvious clues frustrating after a while. The ending is exciting but I hated the predictability of it.

The romance in this story is between Val and Andrew, the lead detective assigned to the murders. This isn’t my favourite Tara Lain paring – the instant attraction – casual dating – happily ever after felt very simplistic and a little too pragmatic. The passion and romance I would expect from a famous artist was missing in this relationship. I enjoyed the tentative lack of trust between these two men as Val becomes a prime suspect at one point, but I still needed more passion to fully believe in Val and Andrew.

I also wanted to know Andrew better. In some ways, his partner has more character and unique qualities than he does. Andrew reads as a dedicated, bearish cop but the story is told mostly from Val’s perspective and I didn’t feel I completely knew Andrew.

The ballet is the star of this story and I really loved both the dancing and the dancers.

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

Val is a dancer who could be the next big thing. However, there is one tiny problem... Harold. Harold is a mean man who is petty and horrible, a semi-OK dancer, but he comes with money.

Val is trying to hold everything he's worked so hard for, together, but with things falling apart around him, Val is weighing his options.

Dancers are being hurt all around and when the dancers that are being stalked and murdered hit close to the home of Val, he has to wonder if he's next.

Andrew is trying his best to figure out why dancers are being targeted. He seems dedicated, but at the same time, he's conflicted because he's drawn to Val. I didn't really like Andrew's character – he was wishy-washy and hard to relate to. I didn't really feel that you got to know him – rather, he was one dimensional.

The murder mystery is predictable, which was unfortunate. I knew who the "bad guy" was less than halfway through the story and the fact that it took so long to "figure it out" was both frustrating and kind of funny.

Overall, this was just an okay book for me. The predictability and the lack of heat between the main characters were turnoffs. I liked the mystery aspect and this book had a lot of potential, I just didn't feel that it delivered.

This is the second book in the series – and whilst it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend that you read them in order as they are great stories, which link.

The mixing of a murder mystery, and a hot and steamy romance works very well – in fact, there were times where I had to stop reading, in case things went the wrong way! I guessed one of the big reveals, but that actually made it more tense, waiting for the shoe to drop! It was very subtle how the leads from book one entered the story, and ended up being key to certain plot lines.

Being immersed into the world of ballet dancers and their diva behaviour was fascinating and fun. Coupled with a straight-laced but gay policeman who is captivated by Val, the level of drama and chemistry is extremely engaging. The dynamics between the two men, and the realisations of how they could look forward and move beyond their pasts, all added to the hotness.

Highly recommended if you like your romance hot and to be couched in a good mystery/police procedural.

Also Available in the Dangerous Dancers Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Golden Dancer post.

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice and new experiences, Tara says that on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Connect with Tara

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Death Dancer (Dangerous Dancers #2) by Tara Lain to read and review.