Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood & J.H. Knight

John Turner has been living a lie most of his life. Growing up in the rural Georgia town of Magnolia Ridge, he's only ever let one person truly know him: his best friend, Chloe. To the rest of the world, they're the perfect couple, but just between them, she's helping John hide in plain sight.

Matt Kinsley, a cop from San Francisco, moves to town looking for a slower pace and to reconnect with his Southern roots. Starting over in Magnolia Ridge means taking a step into the closet, but Matt finds that with John for company, he doesn’t mind so much.

As the two start to explore a possible relationship, a horrific murder rips the town apart but brings John and Matt together in ways neither could've imagined. Matt must decide where his loyalties lie while John resists the urge to run again. Together, they have to discover who the real devil is before another life is destroyed.

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a powerful one sitting read that I could not put down. I fell in love with the characters and their town from the start, but I was completely unprepared for the major twists in this story. Halfway in, I was a blubbering wreck.

I loved the sense of time and place in this book. I loved the people. I loved the conflicting comfort and claustrophobia John experiences in his small Georgian hometown.

I’m not sure I can say too much about the actual story without ruining it for other readers, but I will say that this starts as a complex story with John attempting to make peace with himself and find his place as a gay man in rural Georgia. But it quickly becomes much, much darker.

There is romance in this book but I’m not sure I would classify it as a romance. Matt and John’s hookup to more relationship isn’t necessarily the focus of the book and theirs isn’t a traditionally romantic relationship. John’s relationship with his family and his friendships are just as important as his and Matt’s relationship.

Parts of this story are emotionally difficult (I went through a whole box of tissues), but it throws up important truths, and themes of loyalty, hope, and resilience keep the story from becoming maudlin. I think this book will resonate with me for quite some time.

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

John has been living his life in hiding among his family and his best friend Chloe. While Chloe is his beard, she is also his closest friend and despite his flaws, she loves him regardless. He lives in a small town that wouldn't be altogether fine with him coming out as being gay and he doesn't want to lose his parents and he especially doesn't want to lose connection with his niece.

John's character is your typical guy living in a small town. He does has a slight temper, and that shows when he defends his sister and niece against an abusive husband and father. Everyone in town knows that John has a temper and when there is a murder, they automatically remember his temper.

Matt is trying out small town life. He came from a large town that is very gay friendly and now he is back hiding himself. However, he's not sure if hiding is really what he wants. When he and John hook up, they believe it's only for one night.

Matt and John's relationship is not a great relationship. It seems that they hook up, are kind of boyfriends, but I didn't really get a lot of depth in the relationship. Also, I didn't quite understand their chemistry. Despite their relationship, it seems that there is a strange barrier and I never did quite figure out what it was.

The mystery/thriller aspect of this book is very quick. I think this would have been much more successful if the thriller had been more developed and drawn out, rather than focus on the relationship between Matt and John.

Overall, I was very excited about the premise of this story, but it just didn't deliver for me.

Cate Ashwood

I'm Cate! I live on the ocean in British Columbia, Canada with my husband, Christopher, my brand new little boy, Hudson, and my two kitties, Parker and Gracie. I'm happiest when spending time with my family, reading, or writing. Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after. Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Connect with Cate

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

J.H. Knight

Coffee addict, fledgling author, and unpaid chauffeur. J.H. Knight has been writing love stories since the second grade. When she’s not catering to the whims of her imaginary friends (whom she sometimes refers to as “characters”), she’s usually found driving her four children all over the planet, working on a school project, or saying things like “Not until your homework is done!” A Pacific Northwest native, she loves the outdoors in every season whether she’s in the city, in the mountains, or building sloppy sandcastles with her kids on the beach. On her best days, she’s cuddled up with a good book, and on her worst days she’s tearing her hair out as she tries to decide if her sentence needs a comma or a semi-colon. She gratefully bows down in awe of editors, since she usually gets it wrong.

Connect with J.H.

Facebook  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood & J.H. Knight to read and review.

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