Friday, June 29, 2018

How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall Audiobook Review

Rules are made to be broken...

If England had yearbooks, I'd probably be "Arden St. Ives: Man Least Likely to Set the World on Fire." So far, I haven't. I've no idea what I'm doing at Oxford, no idea what I'm going to do next and, until a week ago, I had no idea who Caspian Hart was. Turns out, he's brilliant, beautiful... oh yeah, and a billionaire.

It's impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he'll be through with me.

I'm good at doing what I'm told in the bedroom. The rest of the time, not so much. And now that Caspian's shown me glimpses of the man behind the billionaire I know it's him I want. Not his wealth, not his status. Him. Except that might be the one thing he doesn't have the power to give me.

Audiobook Details
Length: 11 hours
Narrator: Joel Leslie

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes
Google Play  ~  Kobo

Ebook Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Being in a Joel Leslie mood gave me the excuse I needed to buy Alexis Hall's How to Bang a Billionaire on audiobook. As I've read a couple of the author's books from the Spires universe, I knew the writing style was to my taste and didn't bother re-reading the book's blurb. So, it was kind of like going in blind, which is actually one of the things I enjoy about reviewing for a blog. You pick your books based on a blurb that sounds enticing, but it's usually a month or two before you actually get to begin the book, so while you may have a vague idea of what the book is about, you don't necessarily remember the spoiler points of the blurb. See? Exciting.

With that said, I'm not sure re-reading the blurb would have prepared me for the awkwardness that is Arden St. Ives. Arden is an absolutely delightful character who must possess some social graces as he's nearing the end of his degree at Oxford, yet every time he encounters Caspian Hart he perpetrates some rather mortifying and humiliating social faux pas. Honestly, if Arden is going to have a bad day, he's nearly guaranteed that Caspian will arrive at the worst possible moment. Fortunately for Arden, his blunders seem to be Caspian's kryptonite because for a man who prides himself on maintaining control of his emotions and desires, Arden proves to be irresistible.

As expected in any good billionaire romance, Caspian is a secretive and emotionally closed-off workaholic who has issues Arden barely only scratches the surface of (if even that much) and he likes a bit of kink. Well, we and Arden assume it's a bit of kink because by the end of the book, Caspian is still holding back on his preferences but has agreed to try to be more forthcoming and share about himself with Arden. While Caspian might share some similarities with other bad boy billionaires, make no mistake, Caspian Hart is Alexis Hall's billionaire and he'll do what he damn well pleases – expectations be damned. 😉

It should be no surprise that Joel Leslie was fabulous as Arden and Caspian, as well as the supporting characters who make up their friends, family, and colleagues. Leslie excels at conveying Arden's angst without sounding whiny – except when he's supposed to sound whiny. And the way he captures Arden's awkward embarrassment is so convincing it's as if I can actually see Arden cringing and blushing. At the same time, he performs Caspian's cultured coldness, interspersed with the moments of warmth that Arden elicits, so perfectly.

Between the ending that left me wanting for more yet not leaving me dangling off a cliff to do so and Leslie's performance, I'm in a bit of a quandary as to whether or not I should dive into book two now or wait until book three's release date is announced. Decisions, decisions. Regardless of what I decide, I'm already looking forward to listening to How to Bang a Billionaire again, hence its 5-star rating.

PS – I compromised and bought How to Blow It with a Billionaire but haven’t listened to it yet.

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.

He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune-teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.

He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.

He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

Connect with Alexis

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth.  A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world.

His authors have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery,” and a “true delight…" "his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with,” "Anyone else would only be second best.”

Joel has consistent access to his home studio for all production needs. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Connect with Joel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Brought to you by

Angela reviewed her personal audiobook copy of How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives #1) by Alexis Hall, narrated by Joel Leslie for this post.

Broken Promise by Tara Thomas

In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them… and everyone they hold close…



Charleston Police Officer Alyssa Adams made a promise years ago to protect innocent women from harm. Now, she won’t rest until she can reunite every lost daughter with her family. Bring closure to every grieving husband. And, most of all, find out what happened the night her own sister disappeared, more than ten years ago…

As the eldest of the Benedict brothers, Kipling will stop at nothing to protect his family from a threat that aims to destroy them once and for all. But when a long-lost sibling is kidnapped by a powerful adversary, Alyssa is the only one he can turn to to get her back.

As Alyssa and Kipling band together to find their lost siblings, a powerful attraction builds between them that they can’t ignore. As the truth comes to light, will one broken promise tear them apart?

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

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

This is the third book in the series and I would suggest that you read the previous books in the series or else you might feel lost. There is a lot that happens in them and you might not understand the whole plot without having read them.

Kipling was not my favorite character in the previous books. He seemed hard and without sympathy a lot of the time. I really wanted to see if he evolved in this book. Then you have Alyssa. She was a kick butt, take-no-prisoners police officer – she even put Kipling and his family under the microscope a few times. She has her own dark past and doesn't trust easily.

These two characters have been quasi-dancing around each other with a ton of tension for a few books. When it looks like Kipling is going to need Alyssa's help, both have to learn that sometimes, trusting someone is the only way forward.

Alyssa has a past that has driven her to become a police officer. She also has a family life that is less than ideal. When those two reasons collide, sparks will not only fly, alliances will change, and her childhood will make so much more sense!

Kipling is struggling with the revelation from the previous book. When someone he cares about is in danger, he will enlist Alyssa to help him figure out why this has been happening and who is behind it.

There is a lot that happens in this story – it's fast paced, but the love story is more back burner, which I appreciated. With the mystery so complex, it is a great guessing game until the end.

I ended up really liking this story and even though Kipling still isn't my favorite character, he definitely grew on me. I hope there are more stories to come!

Also Available in the Sons of Broad Series

Book 0.5
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Shattered Fear post.

Book 0.6
Buy Links

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

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

Book 0.7
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Twisted End post.

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 Darkest Night post.

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 Deadly Secret post.

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

Connect with Tara

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Broken Promise (Sons of Broad #3) by Tara Thomas to read and review.

One Small Thing by Erin Watt

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart… again.

Add to Goodreads –

Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Following the death of her big sister, Beth meets Chase at a party and they have a one-night stand. When senior year begins and Chase is at her school, Beth learns his secret and things between them become complicated as does Beth’s life. Beth and Chase have a strong connection in a way they shouldn’t have given their circumstances. I haven’t read a forbidden romance like this before and I really didn’t know where it was going.

Chase’s ability to keep calm while he is harassed and bullied by pretty much everyone shows amazing strength. He is a guy who, at times, has wisdom beyond his years and he helps Beth see some things in a different light, helping her grow up. I loved their relationship and I think that fact that it is difficult made it that much sweeter.

Beth struggles with her ridiculously controlling parents. They are weighed down by grief, and Beth’s fight to have her voice heard, either by her peers, her parents, or her teachers, is an immense source of frustration for Beth. I was right there with her, feeling everything she felt, angry and frustrated on her behalf.

There is plenty of teenage drama in this story coming from Beth’s friends, classmates, and her sister’s ex, Jeff, who quickly shows Beth he isn’t who she thought he was.

I started reading One Small Thing on a cold and rainy Sunday morning and I didn’t get out of bed until the book was finished four hours later, happy and a little emotional. One Small Thing is an excellent young adult novel about grief, forgiveness, love, and growing up.

I really enjoyed this book, it had the perfect amount of drama and teenage angst to keep it easy to read without wanting to scream at the characters too much for being idiots.

Beth is going through a major change in her life, she's acting out and trying to find herself after her sister’s unfortunate accidental death. Beth's parents keep holding tighter and tighter every time Beth tries to break free, they're worried about losing their other daughter. Understandable from a parent’s perspective, but it was almost over the top what this mother and father were doing to their remaining child. I got angry at them numerous times! I have no idea how I might react to losing a child and can’t really say for sure I wouldn't put alarms on all the doors and windows, but… maybe? Chase is also going through a major life change, having just been released from juvie for an accidental death charge, he's at a party and hooks up with a girl who's looking to have some fun. Sure didn't know it'd be the sister of the girl he hit with his car three long years ago. I think Chase was written perfectly with just the right amount of self-loathing but wanting to be a better person. I fell in love with his character quickly!

The mean kids at school added a good dynamic of "us against the world" to the fledgling relationship between Chase and Beth and I was quite invested in the entire story. I felt the ending was a good way to pull the story together and help Beth's parents understand that accidents happen, and maybe forgiveness is the key to moving on in life after a tragedy.

I first read Erin Watt’s The Royals series, which immediately had me hooked. Now, I never pass up the opportunity to read a book by Erin Watt. This writing duo knows exactly how to grab my attention and keep it from start to finish, which is how I always seem to find myself reading until the sun comes up.

One Small Thing follows the story of Beth, who is just starting her senior year in high school, which should be an exciting milestone for her, but nothing has been the same in her life since her sister died. Her parents can’t stop hovering over her every move, but Beth can’t handle being smothered by their fear of losing another daughter. After sneaking out one night to a party, she meets Chase, who is finally out of juvie and ready to start fresh. When Beth learns about the role Chase played the night of her sister’s death, she knows she shouldn’t have anything to do with him, but she can’t seem to stay away.

One Small Thing wasn’t exactly my favorite by Erin Watt, but it still has that perfect addictive quality that I have always found in this writing duo’s books. Plus, let’s not forget their ability to make the most swoon worthy book boyfriends. However, it just felt like some characters’ reactions to certain scenarios seemed so extreme and the only level-headed character was Chase. This doesn’t change the fact that I still found it to be an enticing read and can’t wait to see what Erin Watt has in store for us next!

4 STARS for Erin Watt’s One Small Thing

OMG – the DRAMA!!! This angst-fuelled young adult romance takes the tired good girl/bad boy trope to another level when Beth accidentally sleeps with the boy who killed her sister.

Beth and Chase’s attempts to reconcile their attraction with the pain Chase inflicted on Beth’s family are deliciously gritty, but I didn’t completely love either Beth or Chase. Beth gets increasingly whiny and miserable and I found her more childish behaviour difficult to connect with. Chase takes the strong, silent self-loathing thing a little bit too far. He is monosyllabic for most of the book and is never quite worthy of Beth’s starry-eyed adoration

While Beth and Chase were both interesting enough to hold my attention, the other characters are predictable stock YA clichés. The bland, generic ensemble cast includes super strict parents, spiteful mean girls, misfits from the wrong side of town, and a rich kid who isn’t quite as nice as he seems. The characters are neither convincing or interesting.

I was intrigued by the premise of this story, but the concept is better than the execution. The plot circles around tediously normal high school life and Beth’s endless emotionally incontinent cycles of rebellion/rage/lust/heartbreak/isolation. Chase’s whole story doesn’t quite make sense to me and without more dynamic characters, the book doesn’t deliver the emotional impact promised in the blurb.


One Small Thing is a standalone.

Even with a few major discrepancies, I was hooked from the start and read feverishly in one sitting to the very end. I was eager to know what happened next, finding the novel to hit most of the notes that draw me in and resonate. A side of angsty deliciousness with the entree being frustration.

Beth lost her elder sister three years ago when she was hit by a car, losing not only her sister but the way of life she was used to living. Her big sister and her boyfriend, her parents seeing her as a human being, and her autonomy.

Chase is the brooding bad boy, who beneath all the black and monosyllabic grunts is a self-sacrificing martyr.

Other than Beth and Chase, every other character in the novel was 'off', written in a bizarre fashion outside of how people act/react/behave.

The frustration begins with Beth's parents lost in their grief, stifling her to the point she feels imprisoned in their 'love' and need to constantly keep her safe. While I understood this from an emotional level, it was hard to swallow from an intellectual level, because Beth's parents were the extreme of irrational, creating what they feared the most. In fact, I felt every adult in the novel irrational and acting outside of how human nature dictates to create this almost Twilight Zone level of voicelessness.

Parents. Teachers. Guidance Counselors. Principle. School Board. Students. Friends. Police. All pod people.

While frustrated, I ate up the voicelessness and powerlessness as the angsty deliciousness it was meant to be. In fact, I felt Beth and Chase the only sane individuals in the novel. Perhaps the authors planned it in such a way, but the only characters who acted within the bounds of human nature were Beth and Chase.

Beth lashes out, doing things most teenagers do to test the limits of her tether to her parents, while flexing her wings and demanding independence. Some of the things she did were dangerous, but she is seventeen, lacking the emotional maturity and actual brain development to fully predict the consequences of her actions. Beth wasn't being treated like a human being, rather a placeholder with zero connection to her parents, standing in for the lost sister.

Beth has an instant connection to a boy at a party and a hookup changes the course of her life.

The side cast of characters drove me batshit with how irrational they all behaved – brainwashed or grief-stricken to all act like pod people. Every friend you have had since kindergarten would NOT call your parents and tell them every move you make. While I enjoyed white-knuckling my Kindle in frustration, the major dependencies took away from the overall experience.

Beth's big sister's boyfriend took off to England to live with his grandparents to deal with his grief. Rachel and her boyfriend were the same age, in the same grade, their next school year would have been senior year... .... .... Beth kept mentioning how they were in high school when she was in middle school and she looked up to them because they were older and wiser and she was still a little girl... .... THREE+ years later, Beth has her first day of senior year, and Rachel's boyfriend is in the same grade as her. No one takes three years off of school and is allowed to come back. THREE YEARS. He is a grown man, turning 20 while in a school with 14-18 year-olds, and I also think his age was off by a year, judging by the timeline. He would have turned 21 that year, no one able to legally buy their classmates alcohol would attend class beside them. As Scarlet voices, Jeff easily influences them because he's older and wiser than they are, which is why no school district would allow this. I had brand-new teachers his age when I was a freshman in high school. Yes, there are older kids in high schools everywhere, those who failed a grade or several and never left for three years – they have continually attended school, always enrolled as a student. The molestation and statutory issues that could arise from Jeff dating his classmates, depending on the age of consent laws in that state. He would have been at least a sophomore or junior in college, not a senior in high school.

Another point of contention: juvenile detention = / = prison. Not the same thing. Prison is used 99% of the time. Mayor or not, Chase was an adult, a felon, gone for three years. He would have attended classes in the detention center, as he was a school-aged minor. Unless he is emancipated, it's required by law that he get an education. He would have had a GED, not went back to high school after spending the entirety of his high school career in a detention center. He would have missed three school years and would not have been advanced to a grade when he didn't earn credits to be in that specific grade.

That's not how ANY of that works.

The ages and timeline were off for Chase and Rachel's boyfriend, Jeff, and I watched as the authors slowly made them younger than they would have been to rationalize them being in the same grade with Beth, after hammering home how Rachel died THREE years ago when Beth was still in middle school and Rachel acted so very adult. Suddenly, more than 25% into the novel, the age-gap shrunk to only 2 years, but that contradicted everything shown prior to that, since ages weren't given for driving-age high school juniors three years ago when Rachel died.

How are both grown men, who were 16/17 year-old high schoolers THREE+ years ago, who would have attended their senior year years ago, suddenly sharing the same grade with Beth?

A gap-year is for college kids, not high school kids who attended juvie for three years. Abroad or not, Jeff would have never taken three years off of school and then did a do-over as a grown man attending class alongside minors.

No matter how far I fell into the story, into the angst, into the yummy drama deliciousness, I couldn't let that go. It was the foundation of the story. Beth, Chase, and the rest of the cast were in Advanced Calculus, but the math never added up.

I loved every second of the novel but the major discrepancies, and I highly recommend to those who love angsty young adult, provided these issues aren't hard limits for their reading enjoyment.

Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.

Connect with Erin

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of One Small Thing by Erin Watt to read and review.

Going for the Hole by L.P. Dover Blog Tour

Grip it softly.
Stroke it smooth.
And you’ll sink right into the hole.

That’s my motto both on and off the golf course. The women come in full supply everywhere I go and there are no complaints. Maybe it’s the size of my driver that gets them going.

I’m Lucas “Ace” Montgomery, professional golfer and world record holder for the longest drive in golf history. The PGA Tour has been my life, but it’s time for a break. A few relaxing weeks of drinking and golf with friends in Myrtle Beach is what I need. However, when a bright pink ball knocks me out on the course, and a blonde beauty comes to my aid, I expect to see a gallery girl, a.k.a a member of the Party Groupie Association. Trust me, those girls know how to have fun. Although, to my surprise, it’s not what I get at all.

Dr. Ashley Locke is beautiful and everything I’d want if I was ever to get serious about someone. Unfortunately, she has no interest in me whatsoever which only makes me want her more. All she wants is to get through her friend’s bachelorette weekend and go back to her life, but after injuring me on the course, I’m not letting her run away so easily. When I want something, I get it.

I’m not competing for money this time. All I want is to win her heart.

Add to Goodreads –

Buy Links

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

“When can I see you again?”

I shook my head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I took a needle in the ass for you. Surely, that deserves more of your attention?”

Why did he always have to give me that devilish smile of his? As much as I wanted to hate it, I couldn’t. “Why are you doing this? Can’t you find someone else?”

“Of course I can, but I want you. We can have secret meetings in here if you’re still embarrassed to be seen in public with me.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not embarrassed. You’re you, and I’m a respectable member of society.”

He burst out laughing. “Okay, I see how it is.”

“I just don’t want the publicity,” I added. “You can understand that, right? You of all people should know what it’s like not to have privacy.”

His smile faded. “You’re right, I do, but it’s my life. I can’t change who I am.” My body shivered with the intensity of his stare. “For once, I thought I’d found someone who wanted me for me and not my money or fame.”

Guilt racked my body and I sighed. “Okay, I give in. I can see you tomorrow, after I get out of the spa. Maybe we can order in room service.”

Eyes twinkling, he went over to the door and opened it. “Now that’s a plan I can get behind.”

Before I could walk out, he stood in my way, body close to mine. “I’m going to break through that ice wall of yours, sunshine. One way or another.”

I batted my eyelashes in an innocent matter. “Good luck with that.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a lovely standalone novel that delivers more than just one successful romance – I just can’t decide if the correct terminology would be a double bogie or an eagle! Suffice it to say, it is very satisfying, and I really enjoyed the golfing elements, even though I’m not a fan per se.

Given the relationship started with fake names and an expensive bet, this may well be one to tell the grandchildren, but actually the latter causes quite a lot of pain later on. From their first meeting, Lucas has no doubt that Ashley is the one for him, now he just has to make her understand that too.

I found the story about Lucas’s mother’s unusual illness to be really moving, and liked how Ashley commemorated her and made a difference for other sufferers. What I didn’t know until I read the author’s notes was that she too suffers from the condition. This made it even more poignant, and I felt, it was very brave to address the issue.

A fun, lighthearted, and enjoyable read about two people prepared to compromise and adapt because they recognise the other person is worth the world.

This is a fun, light romance between two impossibly beautiful and incredibly privileged young people. With most of the story taking place at an exclusive beachfront golf resort, there is a Spring Break feel to the encounters between Ashley’s bachelorette party and Lucas’ mates.

I like that Ashley holds down a serious job, but her somewhat mindless and entitled approach to her inherited wealth is aggravating at times. Who is actually given a plot of land as a university graduation present? She feels fluffy and somewhat vapid. With every spa treatment, glass of champagne, and night club experience, I became less convinced of her medical career.

Similarly, Lucas is the son of another famous golfer. I’m not sure golf celebrities can actually afford private islands and jets, but it is a nice mindless fantasy. And like Ashley, Lucas is nice. This is a book that will be enjoyed by sorority girls, country club ladies, and women who lunch. It is a light and fun read; it's an implausible yet cute story that will appeal to white privilege and irritate everyone else.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L.P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

She loves to write, but she also loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.

Dover has written countless novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, the Society X series, the Circle of Justice series, and her standalone novel Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense, but if she got to choose a setting in which to live, it would be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

Connect with L.P.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram
Dover’s Darlings Facebook Group

Hosted by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Going for the Hole by L.P. Dover to read and review for this tour.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Redesigning Max by Pat Henshaw Audiobook Review

Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires Fredi to revamp his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and Max is just too hunky for words.

When Max comes on to Fredi, the designer can't imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max's dilapidated cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out is the most exciting and wonderful time in his life, despite the conservative former friends who think they’re saving him from sliding into hell.

Audiobook Details
Length: 2 hrs, 55 mins
Narrator: David Ross

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Ebook Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I enjoyed Redesigning Max a lot more than What’s in a Name? While I could have used a few more scenes focusing on Fredi and Max’s developing relationship, I found both men to be more interesting characters, especially Fredi. He introduces himself as a successful architect and interior designer who’s more than willing to turn up his twink dial – adding a bit more swish and exaggerating his lisp – to seal the deal on a new contract. As if that weren’t enough for me to adore him, his refusal to back down from bullies and his ability to have his own back were the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. Add in Max, who is not what he appears and is everything Fredi didn’t know he needed, and I was far more entertained during this visit to the Sierra Foothills – even if the homophobia was more blatant and more dangerous than in book one.

One of the things that made Redesigning Max fun was that the differences between Fredi and Max that are so obvious at the start of the book are soon outshined by the unexpected shared interests the two have. Fredi makes it clear that he is not an outdoorsman, yet he and Max share a love of birdwatching and it’s that shared love which elevates his designs for Max’s redecoration. Even though there is an immediate attraction, Max’s inexperience and Fredi’s “No Dating Clients” rule means the guys take some time getting to know one another instead of jumping straight into bed. In spite of this, the reader (or listener) is still only provided a few scenes that are deep enough to connect with the characters fully. Ugh! I’m not saying this right. I really liked both Fredi and Max, and I was invested in their relationship and them building a future together, but it’s as if Henshaw planned a bigger story than the novella format allowed for, so we didn’t get to delve as deep into the relationship as I would have liked. In addition to the romance, there is a romantic suspense element that heightens then tension a bit. The romantic suspense thread was well-telegraphed, but considering this is a novella, it would have been difficult for the author to build much mystery into it, so Henshaw relies on the crime itself and the characters’ confusion over who could have done such a thing as the means of building the tension – and it worked out very nicely.

For me, David Ross’ narrative performance got better from book one to book two. Perhaps the characters posed more of a challenge or maybe Ross was more comfortable with the tone of the series, but whatever it was, I LOVED the sassy vulnerability he infused in Fredi and the scared excitement of Max. Both men felt more realistic and like people I’d enjoying spending time with. I’m not sure what else to say except that I’m hoping to have a chance to listen to book three, Behr Facts, as I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the Sierra Foothills.

Also Available in the Foothills Pride Series

Book 1
Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Ebook Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our What’s in a Name? audiobook post.

Pat Henshaw has spent her life surrounded by words: teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Now retired, Pat, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska and promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and now Sacramento, California. Pat has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Stowe, Vermont, to see family.

Two of her fondest memories include touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.

Connect with Pat

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw, narrated by David Ross to listen to and review.

Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

In the epic conclusion to the BKI series, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker delivers her biggest bombshell yet!

Welcome to Black Knights Inc.

What appears to be a tricked-out motorcycle shop on the North Side of Chicago is actually headquarters for the world's most elite covert operatives. Deadly, dangerous, and determined, they'll steal your breath and your heart.

After a mission-gone-sideways forces Jamin "Angel" Agassi to change his identity, he's determined to bring down the world's worst crime syndicate kingpin once and for all. That's going to be the easy part. Keeping Interpol agent Sonya Butler from discovering who he really is—and blazing another trail into his heart—is the challenge.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 12
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 twelfth and I suspect final book in the series (even if I wish it weren’t true!). You most definitely should read them all and read then in order. However, I would suggest that you have some light reading in between as these are high speed, full on books which take all your energy and adrenaline. The plot flowing through all the books has been brilliant and the romances have been SUPER hot each and every time. I think these would make an amazing set of films.

In this book Angel gets his happily ever after – which is somewhat unexpected, but absolutely the most romantic, sad, moving, intense story – and actually, so do Ace and Rusty... finally.

As we learn about his background and find the only woman he ever loved is mixed up with “Spider,” it is all a bit of a shock, but obviously the layers are hidden and interwoven so who really knows what’s what! Sonya is certain that she’s met someone special, but in the completely wrong setting. The fact that she is reminded constantly of Mark, her first love, is not helping.

As we see everything unravel, we can only be patient as the strands of the story reform and BKI brings order to chaos. Such a wonderful ending to a really excellent series. Most definitely on my reread list, but I reckon even the second time around I will be worrying about them all!

Since I had only found this series with the last book and loved it, I knew I wanted to read this one too.

Sonya Butler is trapped with the world's worst criminal mastermind and she can't believe she is stuck there. But he has evidence against her that could ruin her for good. So, she has to bite her tongue and wait until she gets free. When Spider, the criminal, has Jamin “Angel” Agassi sitting at his desk and wanting him to steal for him, Sonya can't believe her eyes when she sees a picture of who he used to look like. Could it be possible he was, or just a carbon copy of the man she loved 10 years ago?

Jamin “Angel” Agassi works with the Black Knights Inc. and now he is undercover to help capture Spider. The man responsible for a lot of bad things happening on the dark web. Angel has let himself get captured to infiltrate Spider’s compound and can't believe his eyes when he sees Sonya standing beside Spider. She can't work for him because when he knew her 10 years ago, that wasn't the Sonya he knew.

Can Angel rescue Sonya and capture Spider? Will Sonya find out who Angel really is? Can Angel and Sonya move from the hurt feelings and past to have a future? Will they both survive Spider when he finds out who they really are?

I love a good romantic suspense and this series has all the feels and suspense to make it a great story. I have to make time to read the rest of the series soon. If you are looking for a great romantic suspense, I recommend this one but would suggest starting from the beginning. I know I have missed so much just reading the last two. So grab them and enjoy!

Built to Last is the final instalment of the Black Knights Inc and it gives us Angel’s story. It is a pretty unique second chance love story among the usual action, danger, and catching bad guys we’ve come to know and love with this series.

Angel and Sonya cross paths for the first time in 10 years when Angel is “captured” by the criminal mastermind known as the Spider. Angel himself is a pretty cool, calm, and collected guy, even if he is a little scary. When I learned what he has given up for the greater good and to save the world, I wanted nothing more than for him to have his happy ending with Sonya, who we learn is a good woman.

We also get a second romance between Ace and Rusty, who are dancing around each other. The two men provide us a good dose of verbal sparring as we wait for them to get their act together.

I loved the two romances combined with the action, which is great too. I loved watching Angel, Sonya, Ace, Rusty, and the Black Knights Inc team bring down the biggest of the big bad guys. I had fun with the danger and life or death situations and seeing the good guys win in a way you only can when such situations are fictional.

But I think my favourite thing about Built to Last is we get to learn ‘where to next’ for each of the Black Knights Inc couples we’ve met over the years and I thought the finale was perfect. It has been a pleasure reading this series and I’m going to miss these guys and gals.

I just love these Black Knights Inc. boys! Built to Last might have been my favorite of the series so far just because it’s action packed from page one to the final page and I loved it!

Angel is a Black Knights Inc. operative gone undercover to capture Spider, a man who has been haunting his team for a long time. Angel was an operative in his “previous life” who had extensive facial reconstruction surgery to take on a new identity – as Angel. This mission is hitting especially close to home for him because his ex from that previous life seems to be Spider’s girl Friday. Spider is blackmailing Sonya into working for him and she’s reluctant and sassy every step of the way. She also has an odd feeling she’s met Angel before – he reminds her so much her ex, who she watched die…

I really loved that this book literally never has a dull moment, one scene to the next – I couldn’t put it down. As much as I loved Angel and Sonya, because they’re both amazing and so perfect for one another, I think my favorite part of this book was Rusty and Ace’s story – this book was almost a 2-for-1 deal and I loved it! Usually I’m not a huge fan of (actually… I usually HATE) authors flipping back and forth so much from one couple to another, but Julie Ann Walker does a brilliant job with it in this book. I hope we’re set to get more from these BKI men!

Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She'll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Connect with Julie Ann

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Built to Last (Black Knights Inc. #12) by Julie Ann Walker to read and review.