Friday, March 29, 2019

Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.

When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.

Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, January 2013.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book really worked for me. I thought I wasn't going to enjoy the book because there are several pages in a row without dialogue and I HATE that. It worked in this book though. I loved Denver right from the start, how can you not? Adam was so sweet but has so many things that make him feel like he isn't worth anything. I love how Denver comforts and calms Adam without making Adam feel like he is a freak for his OCD and his anxiety. There is a lot of hot sex in this book and normally you would think it was a lot but, in this case, it helps and calms Adam. The BDSM is what Adam needs that he never knew how to ask for before but with Denver it just comes naturally. The dirty talk really got Adam going. Adam and Denver are polar opposites who both have issues they are trying to overcome but they are so perfect together. So perfect. Highly recommend this book.

Oh. My. Gawd. I forgot how much I love Heidi Cullinan’s kinky side! I read an earlier edition of this story a few years ago and I loved it just as much the second time. Geeky scientist Adam and muscle-bound bouncer Denver may seem like an unlikely couple but Denver manages to get Adam out of his head in a way no one has done before. And Adam gives Denver some much needed confidence.

In style, this book feels quite similar to Cullinan’s Special Delivery books which are one of my go-to comfort re-reads. I love the way Denver learns Adam’s quirks and cares for him. Adam and Denver are almost a twink/Daddy pairing but I love that they feel very balanced. The sex in this book is deliciously filthy, fun, and incredibly hot. I’m not usually a fan of D/s BDSM writing but Cullinan keeps the kink feeling natural and playful even when scenes get pretty intense.

I love the balance between beautifully complex characters, intimate relationship building, and pure erotic smut in this book. Very few writers could craft a book with this much sex without losing the heart in the story. And very few writers could make a book about serious mental health problems quite as sexy as this one.

I’ve been a huge Heidi Cullinan fangirl for a very long time and it was a pleasure to reread this book for Wicked Reads. This one remains one of my favourites and I hope it finds new fans with the rerelease.

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

Adam is living a life he doesn't particularly love. He loves his job, but hates his personal life and issues that he has to live with. While he knows that he can live with them, he is lonely and his ex isn't helping matters by constantly telling Adam what a screw up he is.

Denver has never really felt all that worthy. He works as a bouncer at a club and knows that while he would love to be a trainer, he has always been told he's dumb and stupid. Given that he has a complex about that, he doesn't believe that Adam will give him a second look.

These two have to figure out a way to love themselves for who they are. Both of them have mental health issues to overcome, but because they want their relationship to work, they will compromise where necessary and learn to adapt.

I did like how both Denver and Adam learned to accommodate each other. It was sweet and gave their relationship a very real feel. And while this is a sweet story about finding someone who loves you for you, it also felt a little flat. I wanted more of a conclusion with Adam's ex, as well as more of a story when it came to Denver. Also, the ending felt rushed. This was the only book in this series that I've read, but never felt that I was missing anything.

HEIDI CULLINAN has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family. Find out more about Heidi on her website.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dirty Laundry (Tucker Springs #3) by Heidi Cullinan to read and review.

Viper by Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank Blog Tour

USA Today bestselling authors Brooke Blaine and Ella Frank continue the story of sexy Fallen Angel rockers Viper and Halo in Viper.

Scorching chemistry. Red-hot lyrics. An irresistible bad boy.
Halo, the new lead singer for Fallen Angel, never stood a chance against Viper, the legendary lead guitarist for the band.

From the moment Halo set foot in Viper’s lair, the match was lit, threatening to consume the two men with the heat of their desire. But when their casual flings begins to morph into more, will it leave the entire band in flames?

After all, it may have been Halo who fell from grace, but it’s only a matter of time before Viper falls for an angel.

Authors’ Note: Viper is the second book of the Fallen Angel Series and should be read following Halo. Halo and Viper’s story concludes in book three, Angel.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second installment and you absolutely have to read Halo before you read Viper, as it is most definitely a continuing story... and concludes in the book to come – VERY soon, I am hoping!

We left Viper and Angel (Halo) with a serious level of chemistry but with Viper not wanting to ruin the band's second chance with Halo as the front man. He therefore will not get involved with the man who is turning him inside out.

Well... as we read on, we find out just how well that is working out for him! Told by turn by each man, we soon realise that they are both kidding themselves and each other if they think this can stay as a non-serious relationship. The rest of the band can't help but notice either, but otherwise Viper insists on privacy. Read on to find out how that all works out!

I really enjoyed the music side of the story too, with the creative process, the recognition of Angel's unparalleled skills, and the fun that they have getting the sound that they need. The politics, as always, get intense, and band managers also get a bad name again – but it does show us how close the band are now, and how Angel is being reassured of his value and intrinsic value to Fallen Angel's future.

Cannot wait to see how the future shapes up for these two men and the rest of the band. I do hope it will be released soon!

HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER... this book... sweet baby Jesus. First of all, you must read Halo, Viper cannot be read as a standalone. Viper picks up right after Halo. From the very first page to the very last page, I was in love with Halo and Viper even more. These two just have such intense chemistry that it can't be ignored. I love how Halo is figuring out what he wants and not afraid to go for it. We learn more about Viper and fall more in love with him in the process. I can't wait for the next book. I would really, really like a book about Killian, maybe even the other guys too, but Killian for sure. I loved this book and hope the wait for book three isn't too long.

Viper is the second book in the Fallen Angel series. Viper has to be read after Halo and cannot be read as a standalone. Trust me that the buildup is so much better when you get to book two.

GAWD… this book. The chemistry is so intense.

Halo has finally given in to Viper, admitting Viper does something to him. They've sworn to keep it on the DL but the chemistry between them has the rest of the band noticing. I loved watching their "relationship" develop. It's hot and sweet but oh so sexy.

Viper's always been the king of not giving a shit, but can Halo change all that? But can Halo exist within the rules they laid out for what is between them? Can Viper admit Halo has gotten under his skin without ruining the band?

I love the direction this story is going I can't wait for the third installment. As always, Brooke Blaine and Ella Frank are killing it!!

Also Available in the Fallen Angel Series

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

Brooke Blaine is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance that ranges from comedy to suspense to erotic. The latter has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for years.

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Brooke & Ella's Naughty Umbrella Facebook Group

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

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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Brooke & Ella's Naughty Umbrella Facebook Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Viper (Fallen Angel #2) by Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank to read and review for this tour.

From Breath and Ruin by Carrie Ann Ryan Blog Tour

In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.

Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five to bring the two fractured kingdoms together.

Lyric has no idea that there's a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, she finds out that nothing is as it seems.

War is raging around her, and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted as she trains: a boy who isn't who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her.

For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can't get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more... no matter the cost to prophecy.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Carrie Ann Ryan is a new-to-me author.

From Breath and Ruin is the first installment in the Elements of Five series. Even though Lyric is eighteen, on the cusp of adulthood between high school and college, it easily fits into the Young Adult genre, suitable for those 12+. Lyric is an adult, the genre is young adult, but I feel younger teens would enjoy this book the most.

Coming-of-age, Lyric doesn't know what she wants to do with the rest of her life, finding the pressure of making life-changing decisions suffocating. How at eighteen, with no experiences, is Lyric to know what major in college she should choose? She's never excelled in anything, but been good at academics, so it's not as if she can play into her strengths. I felt this would be a comfort to younger readers, as well as resonating with older readers, as most of us have been in such a state of terrifying indecision.

I did struggle at the start of the novel (the first 20% or so), as it was laden with inner monologues about the state of her life, her controlling ex now being her friend, and the dreams. Her indecision resonated with me, the fear of her dreams evoked real emotions within me, but Lyric also came off as a Suzy do-gooder, who never made mistakes, did as she was told, and that comes off as both judgmental in its goodness by comparison, as it does boring. Mousy generally doesn't lend well to a strong heroine. I couldn't wrap my mind around Lyric calling Rhodes 'dreamy,' since that's phrasing someone over 70 used in their youth.

I also never had Lyric firm in my mind. At one point, I thought Lyric was described as being shorter and overly curvy, which I took to mean a bit chubby. I was thrilled by this and being bisexual, as both aren't often used to describe teenage girls in the young adult genre. She describes herself as not being athletic, yet she runs continuously as a hobby. A large portion of the beginning quarter of the novel focused on Lyric jogging. While I knew what color and type of sports bra she had beneath her tank tops and windbreaker, I never got an accurate image of the heroine affixed in my head, as what I thought she would look like contradicted other descriptions.

Lyric has dreams, nightmares really, that show her insight into her life that has been kept from her. As usual in the young adult, fantasy genre, Lyric doesn't know she has powers, thinking herself below average, not knowing how she fits into the world, but then finds out she is rather extraordinary instead. The boy (even though Rhodes is over 21) is the one with the information Lyric needs.

Where I had issue with the magic system and world-building... it was glossed over, same as with Lyric's appearance, the characters' personalities jumping all over the place, and their motivations were muddy, yet I can remember what foods were in the burritos, washing of the sheets on a daily basis, the color and material of the sports bras, the number of tank tops beneath the highly detailed mesh windbreaker, the color of the leggings, and the type of shoes. What I needed explained never was to my satisfaction.

From a young adult's standpoint, no doubt they will be intrigued and find enjoyment in this novel and the series. I do believe the plot, the way the characters interacted with one another, this is far younger than the 18-20+ age-range of the characters, more like 12-14 in their behavior and dialogue. I did struggle with this, as it didn't read as adults in the novel – I wish their ages had been nudged to be younger.

Writing this review from my adult standpoint, I must admit I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped I would. In a nutshell, everything felt forced. The flow, the direction the plot took, the connections the characters had with one another, all of it felt forced.

While I do recommend this novel to young adults, I'm not sure how it will be received by adults. I won't be continuing on with the series.

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of From Breath and Ruin (Elements of Five #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan to read and review for this tour.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

His Kindred Spirit by Sloan Johnson

Dane has built his life around not relying on anyone but himself. When he travels from New York City to North Carolina at the request of his estranged, incarcerated father, he learns truths he’d rather not know… along with inheriting a share in his grandfather’s inn. But the place comes with complications, including a man he will have to walk away from—but can’t help falling for.

Brook has only known romance through notes left in a mailbox at the end of the beach. When he’s tasked with showing his boss’s gorgeous nephew what makes Sunset Beach and Bird Island special, he’s compelled to take Dane to his favorite place.

Dane never wanted the inn, but when it’s threatened, he steps up to defend it… and keep the man he’s coming to love by his side and in his life. But first they’ll have to clean up Dane’s uncle’s mess.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

When Dane heads to South Carolina to meet an uncle he’s never known, he doesn’t expect his whole life to change in a few short weeks. Dane’s family legacy is almost as complicated as the feelings he has for the young man who works at Dane’s family inn.

I wanted this to be a m/m Nicholas Sparks-style read but it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Dane and Brook recount their life struggles to each other but I didn’t ever really feel the emotions behind their lives. This is also a little bit too insta-love for me – it’s a book where the connection feels more convenient than fated. Dane is ready to settle down and Brook is living in a town with few gay men. I didn’t feel sparks, I just saw a tidy happily ever after. Romance wise, the story skips from attraction to settled without many romantic moments or relationship building in between.

Dane’s family life is messy, but the book only just manages scratch the surface of his relationship with his dad and his uncle. I wanted more depth and more relationship building. Most of the action in this book takes place within a few weeks with the epilogue almost listing fairly superficial resolutions to Dane’s problems.

I expected to enjoy this story much more than I did. I hope other readers have more positive reactions to the book.

Sloan Johnson is a big-city girl trapped in a country girl’s body. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields, while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool, and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of His Kindred Spirit (States of Love) by Sloan Johnson to read and review.

Shattered With You by J. Kenner Blog Tour

With his lethal skills and criminal connections, former British agent Quincy Radcliffe has fast become a key asset at the newly formed Stark Security. But Quincy isn’t the man he appears to be.

When the woman whose body he once worshipped and whose heart he broke pleads for his help, Quincy knows he must either turn his back on her or risk revealing his dark secrets to the one woman who can—and will—tear open his old wounds.

For years, struggling actress Eliza Tucker has tried to forget the decadent weeks she shared with Quincy Radcliffe. His smoldering good looks had drawn her in, while his British charm had enchanted her. But it was the wildness of his seduction and the ferocity of his passion that captured her. She’d given herself to him—and he’d shattered her like glass when he’d walked away.

Now, he’s the only person who can help find her missing sister. She’ll use him because she has too. She’ll pay any sensual price he demands. But she won’t fall for him again.

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“I think it’s time we get you home.”

“Yes, please.” My pulse pounded in my throat. Hell, it pounded between my thighs. With each moment that passed, I was more and more turned on. I blamed the wine—it’s definitely my aphrodisiac of choice—but those lovely grapes weren’t entirely responsible for this sweet longing. On the contrary, that was all the man.

A man who took my hand and very gingerly helped me down the narrow stairs to the street, where he hailed a cab. “I’ll have to remember you’re a cheap drunk,” he said, his hand sliding down to cup my bottom. I bit my lower lip and leaned into it, then moaned with satisfaction as he nuzzled my neck. “That’s valuable information to store away.”

“If that’s the kind of information you want, I’ll tell you anything. Just don’t stop doing that.”

“Ah, but I have to. Your chariot awaits.”

He stepped around me, leaving me bereft from the sudden lack of contact. He opened the door like a perfect gentleman, then stepped back, as if to close it, rather than sliding in beside me.

“Are you getting in on the other side? I can slide over.”

“You’re going home alone,” he said, and my entire body went cold from the giant bucket of rejection he’d just dumped all over me.

“I—what? Why?” I frowned. “I thought you were buying me breakfast. I thought we were going to—” I closed my mouth because under the circumstances I really wasn’t going there.

“You thought I was going home with you. That I was going to kiss you. That I was going to pull you so close your breasts were crushed against me, and your ass was tight in my hands.”

“I—Quincy…” I shot a mortified look at the driver, who was sitting like stone, his hands glued to the steering wheel as he looked straight ahead.

“Hmm,” Quincy said, then leaned over and handed the driver a ten-pound note. “Sorry to keep you waiting. This should cover the inconvenience.” And then, as if the delay was the only thing odd about this situation, he turned back to me and said, “That would be my very great pleasure, Eliza.”

“But. Wait. What?” I wasn’t sure if it was the wine or the shock, but he was making no sense.

He put a hand on the roof and leaned in.

“You’re dangerous, Eliza. You and me, we’re a lot alike.”

“That’s bad?”

“I told you. It’s dangerous.”

“Oh. I see.” I swallowed. And told myself not to cry. I didn’t know him well enough to cry. Which begged the question of why tears were pooling in my eyes. “Well, it was—I mean, I had a nice day. Thank you. It, ah, it was really nice to meet you.” Bastard.

His mouth twitched, and for a moment I feared I’d said that out loud.

“Is that a brush off?”

“What, no. Wait—I thought you were brushing me off.”

“Do you want me to?” Again with that tiny smile.

“No, and you’re teasing me. What the hell, Quince?” At that, he laughed outright. “Now I know.”


“If you and I spend much time together—and I certainly hope that we will—when you call me Quince it’s because I’m in trouble.”

I tilted my head and crossed my arms in a display of irritation. And I was irritated. But I was also hopelessly, giddily relieved. “Fine. You’re in trouble. Don’t scare me like that. You acted like you just wanted to send me on my way.”

“I’ll tell you what I want,” he said, bending lower and speaking softer. But not so soft the driver couldn’t hear.

“I don’t just want to go home with you. I don’t simply want to fuck you. I want to claim you, Eliza. I want you to surrender completely. To give me your trust entirely.”

“I don’t understand. I don’t know what that means.”

“I think you do. I want control.” He brushed my lips with the pad of his free hand. “To take you how I want you. In the back of a cab like this. In your bed. Tied down. On your knees. I’ll give you pleasure, Eliza. More than you can imagine or have experienced.”

“You can’t know that.”

“I can, and I do.” He hesitated a moment, his eyes burning into me. “I can’t promise to save you from whatever darkness is inside you—only you can do that. But there are shadows in your eyes, and I want to be the one to bring back some light.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

So happy when this arrived on my Kindle, as I love how Kenner tells a story, and one which involves her Stark family was bound to be the winner that it is. Loved it from page one to the very end... and now, really just looking forward to the next installment! If you are new to J. Kenner, then I would recommend that you consider going back a bit, and getting all the goodness in order, but you can always go back (be ready to want to!).

It was no surprise that this new book had a delicious, but tortured soul for a male lead, with a desire to save, protect, and love from afar if necessary. Quincy has the added bonus of being British, which Eliza found adorable from their very first encounter. The story moves backwards and forwards in time so that we understand their background when they meet again in most unexpected circumstances. Those memories plague both of them, but any fan knows that this author will find a way to ensure they (and we) get the ending deserved. The road is not straight, and the tension levels are high, but it is worth keeping the faith.

My advice is grab a copy, find a hideaway, and expect to surface much, much later – probably best to take snacks and water too! I read it all in one go, thank goodness it was Sunday!

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

This is a great start to this new series. I really enjoyed Quincy and Eliza.

Quincy is an operative who had to leave behind those he loved most for the good of a mission, the good of his job. He never forgot that and never regretted more. When he's in the middle of another mission, he sees a ghost from his past. Despite his mission, he has to make sure that she is okay.

Eliza is on a mission of her own. Her sister is missing and while she knows that her sister can take care of herself, it's strange that she's gone missing at all. When Eliza sees Quincy at the party she's working, immediately she feels both attraction and hate.

Working against the clock, both will have to put their past aside in order to save a small girl and Eliza's sister.

It's fast paced and you do get glimpses of their past in order to help further the story along. I do wish that there was more of an indication when you flashed back. Sometimes it caught me off guard because there's no warning – you're just in the past all of a sudden. However, despite that, it was a good start to the series, and I can't wait to see where it goes.

J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.

Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Shattered with You (Stark Security #1) by J. Kenner to read and review for this tour.

Riding Hard by Lauren Landish

A city girl reins in the cowboy of her hottest dreams in Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Landish’s wild romance.

As the eldest brother, the responsibility for the family ranch now rests on Mark Bennett’s broad shoulders. He wouldn’t have it any other way—he loves being in charge. Working hard on the land helps him stay focused and keeps him from noticing what’s missing in his life—what he’ll never allow himself to have for fear that one small taste will break his careful control.

But a sweet blue-eyed blonde has just arrived in town, and the attraction between them is undeniably hot. So Mark tightens the reins around his heart—how can he tell her what he really wants?

Events planner Katelyn Johnson’s new gig is the wedding of a rodeo superstar. Right now, it’s tough not to focus on the rider’s tempting older brother. So far, getting beneath Mark’s gorgeously gruff exterior has been a pleasure.

What she needs to do is go a little deeper. But the closer they get, the more Mark pulls away. Katelyn’s not afraid of a challenge, though. Whatever deep desires he’s hiding, she wants in on his secrets.

All she has to do is get past his legendary reserve. With all her body, heart, and soul, there’s nothing she can’t handle.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

This is the second book in the series and it does help to know the brothers a little, but is not necessary to read book one in order to enjoy book two.

Mark has the weight of the world on his shoulders. While he knows that he signed up for this, he also is lonely. Mark always knew that he was going to run the ranch. It was what his life was supposed to be. Now that his brothers have come home and are helping more around the ranch, Mark believes that maybe, just maybe, he can breathe a little easier. With his brother's upcoming wedding, Mark knows that paying for the wedding is what his father would have wanted. When he meets the wedding event coordinator, he's instantly attracted to her. She's feminine and tough all wrapped in a beautiful package.

Katelyn is starting over. She moved from a comfortable life and knows that this is her dream job. I really enjoyed her character. She was soft and feminine at times, but tough and had a backbone when it was required. She was able to see Mark for who he was, not for who he projected.

These two have amazing chemistry. They burn up the sheets, but also have such a great respect for each other. Despite Mark's history, he wants to be able to take a chance with Katelyn.

This story was sweet and steamy, but with such a feel-good setting and ending. I really enjoyed these characters a lot. I did want to know more about the whole issue with the event and the potential sabotage. It seemed to be glossed over and I'm not sure why it was included.

I hope more books are to come! I love this family.

This is the second book in the series, and I would say that the story is richer for having read book one, but this is a good story in its own right too.

Overall I did enjoy the story and the outcome, however I did have a bit of an issue with the amount of inner voice, especially from Mark. Whilst I could understand that Nicole had made him feel bad about himself, there is plenty of information to dispel that view, and he is an intelligent, modern man, as well as a rancher and businessman. So the tortured guilt seemed a little excessive.

Katelyn was a fun character, and I liked how she behaved with Marla, even though she was her boss. It was one of many hints at the kind of person she was and developed her as a person most definitely worthy of the attention Mark bestowed upon her. Her easy manner, friendship, and the obvious chemistry gave Mark a distinctly interesting challenge when holding back his desires.

It was fun to see how her work and his differed, and yet they both acknowledged their duties and responsibilities – much like we saw with Luke and Sophie in the first book.

I am looking forward to the next installment and catching up with this couple as they steer a course that takes into account their careers, their families, and their new romance.

Also Available in the Bennett Boys Ranch Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Buck Wild post.

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Landish welcomes you into a world of rock-hard abs and chiseled smiles. Her sexy, contemporary romances—including her wildly successful Irresistible Bachelor Series—have garnered a legion of praise from her readers. When Lauren isn’t plotting ways to introduce readers to their next sexy-as-hell book boyfriend, she’s deep in her writing cave and furiously tapping away on her keyboard, writing scenes that would make even a hardened sailor blush. Lauren lives in North Carolina with her boyfriend and fur baby. For all the updates and news on her upcoming books (not to mention a whole lotta hunks), visit her website or follow her on social media.

Connect with Lauren

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Landish Landing Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Riding Hard (Bennett Boys Ranch #2) by Lauren Landish to read and review.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger Blog Tour

A beautiful fugitive. A hot bodyguard. A high-stakes game of temptation.

For Nasir, former Special Ops military man and bodyguard, his new job seems like an easy-money gig: trail a Russian mobster’s runaway wife in Mexico, enjoy the sun, observe, and report. Just one rule: don’t get too close. But it’s all Naz can do not to watch the alluring dancer’s every move. A closer look is irresistible—especially when she’s in trouble.

Evalina escaped to the island getaway to live an untraceable life—as far away from the past as she can get. But Eva can’t ignore the dark, muscled stud who rescues her from a drug gang. He says he’s an ex-cop on vacation. When providence throws them together time and again, Eva thinks it’s all a beautiful coincidence. Now she’s giving in to a strange new sensation: trust.

But Naz has a mission to accomplish and a secret to keep. Eva has her share of secrets, too. And as the heat flares between them, Naz knows that trust could become the most dangerous impulse of all.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

I don’t feel eyes on me for the rest of the afternoon, but I also don’t go back to the apartment or near my bug-out bag, hidden in the belfry of an abandoned church near the docks. I wander the town aimlessly, waiting for darkness to fall and thinking of a handsome man with linebacker shoulders and a slight limp in his gait named Nasir.

My friends call me Naz, he’d said, his piercing dark gaze full of secrets.

From his skin tone and facial features, I judged him to be Lebanese or Moroccan, though he had no discernible accent. Those tattoos snaking down the insides of his strong arms were definitely Arabic, but his clothing suggested he was an American tourist. If I hadn’t seen him take down an armed gang leader with one punch and calmly evade a hail of bullets, I’d have assumed he was just another man on holiday with his family, visiting Cozumel for its famed white beaches and breathtaking dive spots.

Obviously, he’s not just another man.

He’s a riddle.

I enjoy riddles, which makes me glad I won’t ever see him again. The last thing I need in my life at the moment is a complication.

Even if that complication is tall, dark, and handsome and saved my life without breaking a sweat.

I stop at my favorite café on the beach for a beer and fish tacos. From an app on my cell phone, I check the security system at my apartment. Everything is clear. Any movement within a certain radius will trigger the camera, and any breach of the perimeter will trigger an alarm, but no one has tried to break in or gotten too close for comfort.

At least for now.

Pensively watching the waves break and foam on the sand, I wonder if I might’ve been mistaken earlier. I’d been so sure someone was following me, but I have to admit there is the possibility my paranoia has gotten out of control. The reality is that in the three months I’ve been on this island, there’s been no indication that Dimitri has located me.

I was extremely careful when I left. I covered all my tracks. I meant for this escape to be my final one, and I spared no expense to ensure I was a ghost.

It was reckless that I told Naz my real name. I did it on impulse, without thinking, which isn’t like me. But those damn gorgeous dark eyes…

No matter. Whoever he is, he’ll be gone in days, pulled out with the tide like everyone else. The population of this island is mostly transient, which works well for me. A thousand new faces a week come and go, an ever-changing anonymous crowd one can melt into and hide.

Out of habit, I touch the gun in my pocket, absently thinking that freedom is worth every bit of hypervigilance it’s costing me.

Even if it’s far more lonely than I imagined it would be.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I absolutely loved this book... although I need book two NOW, please, pretty please!

It is impossible not to like these two lead characters, and want everything good for them... but anyone who has read Geissinger before will know that there are going to be a number of twists and turns before we get the happily ever after that we know they deserve.

Told by turns by Eva and Naz, we know all too soon that they are pretty much on a road to disaster, and they also both know that the chances of this being all they wish it could be are slim. Their painful pasts may be entirely different, but the intelligence, humour, and chemistry make them suddenly light and happy when together – it is so pleasurable to watch them on their 'dates.'

I have to say that there were a few times when I had to stop reading, look away, and steel myself to keep going, as I was so invested in things going well that I was worried about reading on! But a few deep breaths later and I couldn't really resist carrying on... and get completely hooked back into the drama.

As the percentage read went up I was really worried at which point I would be left hanging, and thankfully, whilst it is a cliffhanger, I now, a day later, can acknowledge that it could have been far worse. That said, the sooner I know what happens next, and how it can all work out, the better.

In addition to the Naz and Eva story, we also get to enjoy Connor and Tabby in their natural habitat, which is always fun too.

Heroine Eva Describes What Is Inside Her Bug-Out Bag

When you’re on the run from your sadistic Mafia boss ex, your life depends on how quickly you can get away. If, like me, you ever find yourself in a bad situation you need to make a hasty escape from, there are a few necessities you should pack beforehand so you’re ready when danger strikes. That’s where the bug-out bag comes in.

The contents of my own bag are shown here. Modified from a disaster or wilderness survival kit where I’d pack additional items like non-perishable food and camping equipment to help me survive up to seven days before help arrives, this bag is light enough to carry for miles if I’m forced to flee on foot, and designed for one purpose: to help me disappear fast.

  • Cash in various denominations, rubber banded in ziplock baggies
  • New ID and passports
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Boots
  • Jeans
  • 2 pairs of socks & underwear
  • 2 shirts, one long sleeved
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • First aid kit
  • International burner phone
  • Phone charger
  • Gun & extra ammo
  • Swiss knife
  • Lighter
  • Thumb drive with copies of any important docs or bank accounts

J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling and award-winning author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom-coms to intense, edgy suspense, her novels and novellas have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book and the Golden Quill Award for Best Urban Fantasy and is a two-time finalist for the RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Connect with J.T.

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Geissinger's Gang Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dangerous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #1) by J.T. Geissinger to read and review for this tour.