Thursday, April 30, 2020

Variable Onset by Layla Reyne

To catch a killer, a special agent and his former student will need to get close—to their target, and each other. Layla Reyne returns with a stand-alone romantic mystery.

When the serial killer known as Dr. Fear seemingly reemerges after a cooling-off period, Special Agent Lincoln Monroe wants on the case. He knows his research on the calculating criminal, who targets couples and uses their worst fears to kill them, could prove invaluable. But nothing can prepare Lincoln for the agent waiting for him in Apex, Virginia: a brash and cocky former student. Carter Warren is everything Lincoln is not, and somehow everything he wants. And they’ll be going undercover. As newlyweds.

For Carter, seeing Lincoln again—and flustered to boot—pokes his raging bear of a crush something fierce. He thinks posing as lovers will provide the perfect bait for Dr. Fear. But pretending to be married forces them to confront fears of their own… like giving in to the very real chemistry between them.

With evidence pointing to the possibility of a copycat killer, Lincoln and Carter will have to race to separate truth from fiction. But when another couple goes missing, finding the killer will test every ounce of their training, skills and the strength of their bond like never before.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press – Harlequin

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a very good read with an excellent mix of an FBI serial killer investigation, a new romance after a long time crush, and a personal discovery after years of questions.

Lincoln is a lecturer at Quantico and we discover that he does not handle pressure well, as we soon discover that he would otherwise be excellent at fieldwork. His one-time student, Carter, has been paired with him in the hunt for Dr. Fear. Their set up at Apex is revealed to him in the most amusing way, and leads to some lovely intense moments between the men.

I really enjoyed how we got to know about the duo and how they interacted with the townsfolk. There are plenty of hints and miscues to give us a reasonable level of tension – something which is enhanced by there being a copycat who has incurred the wrath of Dr. Fear himself. I did guess at who it probably was quite early on, but it was still played out well, and gave the men the chance to develop their relationship in a period of heightened danger.

I would love to meet these two guys, I felt they were good people and would be excellent company. If Layla Reyne were to make this the first in a series, I would be very happy!

Variable Onset sees geeky Special Agent Lincoln Monroe, who usually spends his time teaching at Quantico, thrown into the field to work with his former student, Special Agent Carter Warren. The men are searching for a serial killer, Dr. Fear, who has kidnapped someone he knows.

When Lincoln meets Carter again for the first time in eight years, there is great chemistry. The back and forth between them was sweet. Early on in the story though, I felt like the personal goings on between pair overshadowed the hunt for the killer but that evened out as the story went on.

I quite enjoyed seeing Lincoln work and seeing how he used his expertise to narrow down who the killer might be. The story has plenty of action that had me on the edge of my seat and the romance between Lincoln and Carter was good fun, which is in contrast to the seriousness of their jobs.

My favorite part of the story was seeing Lincoln face his fears. The descriptions of how he felt were something I'm sure many of us would understand. Every now and then I read a book where a character is dealing with an issue that I am dealing with in my life and this was one of those times. Lincoln's bravery gave me a little bit of courage to face one of my own fears.

Layla Reyne is one of my favorite authors and with Variable Onset, she has once again given us a solid romantic suspense story. A solid 4 stars from me.

2016 RWA Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina but now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Connect with Layla

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Layla’s Lushes Facebook Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Variable Onset by Layla Reyne to read and review.

Gone with the Rogue by Amelia Grey

A powerful handsome rogue finally meets his match in Gone with the Rogue, the second book in the First Comes Love series from bestseller Amelia Grey.

She had an acceptable marriage of convenience. Now widowed, can this determined and beautiful mother find true and forever love?

The sinking of the Salty Dove took her husband’s life—but it didn’t drown Julia Fairbright’s courage to endure. She creates a proper life for herself and her young son. But now, the ton’s most notorious rogue is back, and how he makes Julia feel is anything but proper. She can’t deny the desires he awakens in her, even though she knows that the handsome devil will surely break her heart.

Garrett Stockton owns a successful shipping company and is rumored to have a woman on every continent and half-a-dozen in England. The truth, however, is that Garrett has but one mistress: the wide open sea. That is, until he meets Julia, whose spirit of independence matches his own. What begins as a flirtatious battle of wits turns far more passionate than either of them could have imagined. Suddenly, Garrett’s only desire is to sail into the sunset with Julia as his wife and young Chatwyn his son. But she won’t take his hand—how can he convince her that his love is real and his heart is hers?

Book 2
Buy Links

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Gone with the Rogue is the second installment in the First Comes Love series. It can be read independently of the series with little to no confusion as a standalone.

As the daughter-in-law of a duke, a widowed Julia Fairbright is left to raise her son without a father. Under the duke's protection, Julia struggles as her son is used as a leash to keep her under control. Imprisoned by society as a woman, trapped due to her circumstances, after many years, Julia is willing to do anything to gain some independence while keeping her son. An animal cornered.

Julia resonated deeply with me, her emotions were spot-on in the beginning, the eggshell walking, the hopelessness of being trapped in a way of life that she didn't want to lead, while feeling as if there was no way out.

In walks Garrett Stockton, the roguish charming shipping scoundrel. As a prominent business owner, he's always on the fringes, catching sight of Julia. Always getting what he wants, and he wants Julia. Instant attraction, instant need and want, leads to instant love.

As a reader, I'm more prone to believe in the romance if it's more on the slower-building side. If it's too instant, I have a hard time connecting. While a faster pace keeps me engaged while reading, the emotions don't necessarily ring true for me. I enjoyed both characters independently of one another, wanted them to find their happily ever afters with one another, the journey there left me wanting more, maybe wanting something else.

I was confused, because there were scenes where I adored the banter, but other times I felt a disconnect, as if reading different characters with the same names. Sometimes the characterization was rich and alive, other times it came off as one-dimensional, shallow, with forced interaction.

I enjoyed the story, but was confused by how sometimes it felt like I was reading a different book from one scene to the next. The vibe. The way Julia and Garrett interacted with one another and others around them.

A worthy addition to the series, I do look forward to more, and do recommend to fans of the author and historical romance.

Also Available in the First Comes Love Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our The Earl Next Door post.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter, and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the Heirs' Club trilogy and the Rakes of St. James series. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

Connect with Amelia

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Gone with the Rogue (First Comes Love #2) by Amelia Grey to read and review.

Fantastic Hope ~ Edited by Laurell K. Hamilton & William McCaskey

A collection of sixteen sci-fi and fantasy stories edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton and author William McCaskey.

A child’s wish for her father comes true. The end of the world has never been so much fun. Conquering personal demons becomes all too real. It’s not always about winning; sometimes it’s about showing up for the fight. It’s about loving your life’s work, and jobs that make you question everything.

In this anthology, seventeen authors have woven together brand-new stories that speak to the darkness and despair that life brings while reminding us that good deeds, humor, love, sacrifice, dedication, and following our joy can ignite a light that burns so bright the darkness cannot last.

Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey are joined by Kevin J. Anderson, Griffin Barber, Patricia Briggs, Larry Correia, Kacey Ezell, Monalisa Foster, Robert E. Hampson, John G. Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Jessica Schlenker, Sharon Shinn, M.C. Sumner, Patrick M. Tracy, and Michael Z. Williamson in this collection.

Buy Links

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Berkley (Paperback)

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Spoiler-Free Review

This won't be a comprehensive review of the content, simply because a small rundown of the plots would pretty much spoil most of the short stories, giving too much information away.

Fantastic Hope is an anthology of 16 short stories by different authors, each featuring the science fiction genre.

Laurell K. Hamilton (LKH) is one of my all-time favorite authors, the Anita Blake series at the top of my reread list. I was thrilled to read even the smallest of short stories in that universe, so I jumped at the chance to read Fantastic Hope. Other than LKH, Patricia Briggs is the only other author I've ever read previously. Both of their short stories were familiar to me, like a homecoming by seeing some of my favorite characters. I actually read the Anita Blake short twice, simply because it was nice to read something new in that universe.

Enjoying the anthology, I read about two shorts per day on average, trying to draw out the experience. Stepping away helped so that I didn't get the stories mixed up, and gave me time to research the author. Some of the stories were a massive hit for me, whetting my appetite to go back and search out the universe in which the story was born. Others were so-so, but still captured my interest to check out the author's backlist, simply because I was unfamiliar with their worlds.

Highly recommended. All in all, even if you're only familiar with one or two authors in the anthology, Fantastic Hope is a great opportunity to discover other science fiction authors, just a small taste of their writing style and the worlds they've created.

As a slightly crazed Laurell K. Hamilton fan, I had really high hopes for this anthology but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I’m honestly not sure how much of my ambivalent reaction to this collection is because of the actual stories or to the fact that I was quite unwell while reading and found it difficult to concentrate at times. I’m quite reluctant for anyone to be guided by my personal response to the anthology but I will try to outline some of my reservations.

Firstly, this collection of stories is a mashup of genres and I’m not sure the mix is completely successful. While I love Patricia Briggs’ and Laurell K Hamilton’s Urban Fantasy, I’m not a huge science fiction fan and I have to be in the right mood for action thrillers and philosophical diatribes.

I also worry that the timing of this collection isn’t brilliant. The first story is about a special ops team racing to prevent a pandemic – and I read it while quite ill from the pandemic that no one was able to stop. The preface talks about a collection of hopeful stories but the only stories I’m currently managing to engage with are fluffy romcoms – and I know I’m not alone. I found the violent action in too many of these stories difficult and some of the hope seemed quite intangible and ephemeral.

The preface also explains that this is a collection of stories by a mix of new and established writers. Usually, I love collections like this because I fall in love with at least one new writer. That didn’t happen here. I enjoyed Briggs’ and Hamilton’s stories but failed to engage with most of the others. I really couldn’t follow the story about Estefan and the battle between knowledge and belief and it took me ages to understand what was going on in the one about the teddy bear and the soldier with PTSD. I was thoroughly confused by the futuristic space adventure that doesn’t offer any real introduction or world building at the start. Again, I read this with a fever so some of my responses can be attributed to my addled brain.

Ultimately, while this anthology didn’t work for me, I hope the collection connects with other readers. As reviewers, we often sign up for books months ahead and have a limited window in which to read them before publication. I really wouldn’t have chosen to read this book during the past two weeks and I’m very aware that I might have engaged better with it at a different time.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Fantastic Hope ~ Edited by Laurell K. Hamilton & William McCaskey to read and review.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Hating Season by K.A. Linde Release Blitz

A new standalone enemies-to-lovers romance from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde...

Court Kensington is a thorn in my side.

I’m hired to clean up his badboy image, which would’ve been easy if my life wasn’t falling apart.

First, I catch my movie star husband having an affair with his co-star. Then when I return to work, my job is at stake, because Court has gotten himself into trouble...again.

Instead of getting him back in line, I find myself falling for his charm. And into his bed. And against the wall. And, and, and…

Except Kensington charm shouldn’t work on me. Not when I’ve sworn to never ever sleep with a client.

I had good intentions.
I really did.
But we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in the series (there is also a prequel). If you have read Linde's Cruel series, then you will recognise the side characters in this book – and be swept back into the Upper East Side. This does follow on directly from The Lying Season, and whilst it can definitely be read as a standalone, I bet you will want to go and find out more about Lark and Sam in that book and Katherine, Natalie et al. in the Cruel series. We continue to get interesting glimpses into just what is going on in these people's lives.

In the previous installment, Lark persuaded her boss to employ her good friend and publicist Anna English to babysit her son, Court Kensington, in the run up to the New York Mayoral election. Anna English is married to a very successful actor, and considered to be immune to any other man – so in theory, safe when faced with the charms of Court.

This book gives us a much better idea of exactly who English (as she prefers to be called) is, and how hard she worked to achieve her success. She is not Upper Eastside by birth, nor is she Hollywood, as they call her. Her upbringing was much less settled or entitled. It also shows that all that is meant to be perfect in her marriage, is sadly not that way at all. And English always made one thing clear... cheating is out, so her marriage is over following the revelations she finds when she visits her husband in London. I really liked her strength of character, even when she was very badly hurt, she was strong in her resolve.

We get to learn quite a lot more about Court here too – the fallout from his relationship with Jane is still causing problems, both in his nascent feelings for Anna, and in the context of his mother's campaign. As it becomes clearer that he is wasting a lot of energy fighting invisible enemies and preconceptions, he has to decide how he is going to start to move his life forward. The most important realisation is that English has a permanent place in it – if only he can persuade her.

There are lots of side plots going on, so be ready for a very full story, with perhaps more questions asked than answered. Camden and Katherine need their heads banging together – on this, I think we would probably all agree! Looking forward to reading on in the next book.

3.5 Stars

The Hating Season is the second installment in the Seasons series. As listed in the synopsis, it can be read as a standalone. As someone who didn't read The Lying Season, I can attest that the novel can be read independently of the series, however there was still this vibe that I missed a lot more than a single novel. Not only did I miss what happened in the previous novel, it felt as if the majority of characters weren't newly introduced but well-established characters that had their own novels at some point, major rundowns of past events that happened, leading me to believe the series is tied to a previous series written by Linde. Maybe it was just the way it was written, but it felt like I was missing something.

Anna English is a publicist from Los Angeles, her current client the son of a political candidate in New York City. English was a logical character, realistically written to feel like someone I could befriend in a nanosecond. Resonating deeply within me, I wouldn't so much as say she had trust issues, but instantly saw deception as a deep betrayal. She was resolute, leaving no room to be bitten twice. English didn't give in, and I respected her for it. Let's be honest, if someone gets away with hurting you, they'll do it again and again, because they don't respect you, because you taught them not to, because you don't respect yourself. Emotions didn't matter to English – they chose to hurt her, they chose to lose her. If her feelings are hurt, it's their fault.

Every time English's ex told her she was at fault because she wouldn't give him another chance, wouldn't work on their relationship, flashbacks of the same words said to me fired in my brain, along with the frustration, injustice, and the anger at being gaslit. Then English would deliver a one-liner about how none of this had to do with her, because that all ended with his choices, then she would cut off the communication. Boundaries.

English brought this philosophy into her work, which is why she wrangled her clients so well, especially spoiled playboys like Court Kensington. Court is obviously the immature bad boy who is misunderstood, deep down an amazing guy with untapped potential.

I adored English, had a hard time connecting with Court because I felt him all over the place and not developed enough, yet wasn't the biggest fan of their relationship. I wanted them both to have happily ever afters, but felt they weren't a good fit, not a balance of personalities. The enemies-to-lovers vibe felt forced, as well did their attraction to one another. I cared about what happened to English, which is why I continued to read, but I didn't find the romance to ring true.

On the friendship front, a few of the characters came off as extremely immature and petty, and with English's personality, I found it hard to believe she would call them friends, let along suffer their presence as she watched them act like spoiled-rotten children who are wealthy adult professionals. While I love me some messy angst, and I can't wait to see what happens next with the arranged marriage, I just found it impossible to believe someone who is done the instant someone lies to her would stand by and watch everyone around her lie to each other – that doesn't compute.

I look forward to what comes next in the series.

Also Available in the Seasons Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on The Lying Season Release Blitz.

K. A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Connect with K.A.

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K.A. Linde Books Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Hating Season (Seasons #2) by K.A. Linde to read and review for this tour.

Burn Zone by Annabeth Albert

Introducing Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts…

Smoke jumper Lincoln Reid is speechless to see Jacob Hartman among his squad’s new recruits. Linc had promised his late best friend he’d stay away from his little brother. And yet here Jacob is… and almost instantly, the same temptation Linc has always felt around him is causing way too many problems.

Jacob gets everyone’s concerns, but he’s waited years for his shot at joining the elite smoke jumping team, hoping to honor his brother’s memory. He’s ready to tackle any challenge Linc throws his way, and senses the chemistry between them—chemistry Linc insists on ignoring—is still alive and kicking. This time, Jacob’s determined to get what he wants.

Close quarters and high stakes make it difficult for Linc to keep his resolve, never mind do so while also making sure the rookie’s safe. But the closer they get, the more Linc’s plan to leave at the end of the season risks him breaking another promise: the one his heart wants to make to Jacob.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press – Harlequin

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Burn Zone is the first book in the Hotshots series.

Lincoln Reid is a smoke jumper fighting fires in Oregon. Linc and his best friend, Wyatt, are finally working for the same base. They are good at what they do. Linc is gay but not really out. Wyatt tolerates but doesn't completely support Linc's lifestyle, especially since Wyatt's younger brother came out to his family. Wyatt warns Linc away from his younger brother, Jordan.

Jordan has had a crush on Linc since he was nineteen, not caring that Linc was ten years older. He's done everything he could to get Linc to notice him, basically throwing himself at Linc every chance he gets. Linc notices, but he's older and he should know better, but Jordan is wearing him down day by day. When tragedy strikes, Linc gives into that lust for one kiss. When Jordan and Linc end up working together, can Linc continue to fight what he feels when he's around Jordan? Can Jordan get Linc to drop the walls enough to see that they will work?

I enjoyed this read about fire jumpers, a first for me. I normally choose to read first-person point of view, so jumping into third-person was hard to connect with the character at first for me. But once I was invested, I couldn't get enough of this read. I can't wait to see where this series goes!

3.5 Star
Spoiler-Free Review

Burn Zone is the debut in a new series, so it was a refreshing change of pace to just jump in without having to remember a full cast of characters and events that happened previously. I just sat back and relaxed, and watched the story unfold.

Imagine having a crush on your brother's best friend, when you're the baby in the family, and said best buddy is a decade older than you. That gap is mighty large when you're a teenager. Imagine your brother is on the phobic side, so when you come out you fear his reaction. Jacob is a sweet yet equally strong character, engaging and realistic. He tugs the heartstrings as he tries to prove to his family that he's an adult, while trying to show Lincoln he'd be a good partner, both at work and at home.

Imagine watching a kid grow up, seeing him as a little brother, then one day realize he's a grown man that you care deeply for. Your best friend and his family are the only family you have, and your best friend is your constant partner and savior as well. Now imagine your best friend knowing the secret you keep locked in the closet, and how he forces you to make a promise after his little brother comes out, outright blaming you as if being gay is contagious... Lincoln is equal parts frustrating for the reader, yet also highly relatable.

Now toss in one of the world's most dangerous professions, smoke-jumping into raging forest fires, and you have one heck of a tasty, angsty read, right?

I adored the premise, as frustrated as I was at Lincoln and Jacob at times, the pages were not going by rapidly. The novel suffered from far too much redundant inner monologuing. Nonstop telling versus showing. Page after page filled with inner monologues, to where it became tedious. They kept saying the same thing over and over again, like beating a dead horse. I got it the first few times. I feel mean stating this, but it dampened down the entertainment value, had me feeling the need to skim, because the story itself and all the yummy angst was buried beneath the writer telling the reader how the characters felt, instead of showing us on the pages.

I enjoyed the plot, the characters, and look forward to reading more in this series.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Romance

Linc loves his job being a smoke jumper. He loves his friends, who are also on the line with him. But when tragedy strikes, Linc has to shut off all emotions in order to continue doing his job.

Jacob has wanted to be a smoke jumper since he was young. Watching his older brother become one also helped secure his interest. After his brother is lost to a large fire, despite his family's protests, Jacob isn't going to let that stand in his way of his own dreams.

One of those dreams is that Linc would fall in love with him. They had one steamy encounter, but since then, Linc has kept his distance from not only Jacob, but Jacob's entire family. Linc has always been around and when he pulls away, he's missed by everyone.

When Jacob makes it as a smoke jumper, Linc is also less than pleased. What follows is a back and forth, push-pull relationship that seemed incredibly young adult. Linc likes to live his life in guilt and Jacob just wants people to see him for his abilities and not for what he's lost.

These two, while they are great when working together, they have a forced chemistry. It wasn't my favorite story, but I'm hoping the subsequent ones will be more developed.

I was really excited to read this book, I'm a fan of the author and two hot fireman sounds awesome. I didn't love this book. It was slow at times and I found myself not being interested. Then Linc came off as a jerk to me and Jacob worked so hard for his attention. I am hoping this was just a fluke and the next book in the series will be better.

This is the first of a new series, and as I have enjoyed many of Annabeth Albert's books, I did not hesitate to jump in here too. I am very curious to see where it goes next, as there is a reveal towards the end which opens the door rather intriguingly.

I enjoyed the premise of the story, forbidden romance due to disapproving best friend and older brother, and I have read of smoke jumpers before and like the drama and the danger elements. So I was a bit surprised when I started to feel things were going very slowly. We know the score pretty early on, and we know exactly what each of them feel, because we get a lot of inner monologue – but not only do we get them gearing up to the fire season with a lot of training exercises, but the men are also on a training exercise it would seem.

There are some really cute scenes, like when they make the play equipment, some revelations about family, and disappointments, which do a good job of making the issues very, very clear, and some very sexy ones, as they get inventive. But the pace is incredibly slow. For sure it speeds up towards the end and the drama most definitely starts to build, with tension between them and danger at work.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I could have done with it being a little tighter. I am still invested enough to have made a note to look out for the next one.

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Connect with Annabeth

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Annabeth's Angels Facebook Fan Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Burn Zone (Hotshots #1) by Annabeth Albert to read and review.

While She Sleeps by Dani René Release Blitz

Dangerous. Unstable. Obsessive.

She believes in fairytales and awaits her prince.
But I arrive at her doorstep and I’m far from royalty.

The shiver down my back tells me he’s there. As if he were touching me.
Cold, angry, aloof—he’s everything I don’t need. But I can’t turn off my attraction when he’s near.

My sleeping beauty doesn’t realize just how dangerous I am.
She trusts so easily, smiles so beautifully. And while she sleeps, I watch.
With each passing night, I become more addicted.
Until I’m a man obsessed.

I feel his gaze on me, watching while I sleep.
He pushes me away in the light, but in the dark, he comes to me like a moth to a flame.
I crave it. He doesn’t know just how broken I am.

I believed she was the light to my darkness.
But it turns out my sleeping beauty likes to dive into the shadows alongside me.
She’s mine, but that decision could kill us both.

Buy Links

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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

While She Sleeps is part of The Dirty Heroes Collection and can be read as a standalone.

While She Sleeps is a take on Sleeping Beauty, with a dark suspenseful twist.

Logan has a fetish for sleeping woman. He can't get off without it. He loves the vulnerability that presents itself when the woman is asleep and he can do as he pleases.

Vera was promised to someone when she was very young. She hated the idea of marrying someone she didn't know. When she turned eighteen, she moved away from everyone. She knew there had to be people out there that were like her, so she looks on the dark web for men that can fulfill her love of being watched.

When they meet on the dark web, he thinks all his dreams have come true. Could it really be the perfect woman for him? Has he found his princess?

This one was a miss for me. I couldn't find a connection with either character. Logan didn't come across as the "Alpha" and Vera came across wiser than her years knowing exactly what she wanted (which wasn't a bad thing!). I do enjoy this author and the book was well written, but I just couldn't find my footing with it.

Dani is a USA Today Bestselling Author of a variety of genres, from romantic suspense to dark erotic romance and even BDSM romance. She loves to delve into the raw, emotional journeys her characters venture on, and enjoys the dark, edgy, and sensual scenes that fill the pages of her books. Dani's stories are seductive with a deviant edge with feisty heroines and dominant alphas.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of While She Sleeps (Dirty Heroes #3) by Dani René to read and review for this tour.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Head Over Paws by Debbie Burns

Love can lead to your forever home

Olivia Graham isn't in a position to have a dog of her own, but her new position as a volunteer rescue driver for the local animal shelter will keep her close to her four-legged friends. When she's called to transport dogs and cats that have been misplaced by flooding, she doesn't hesitate to help, but her aging car isn't as reliable as she is...

She's picked up by veterinarian Gabe Wentworth, former EMT and firefighter, who's also heading to the rescue site. After a bad breakup, Gabe's embraced the hermit life. When he meets Olivia, he can't deny their irresistible mutual attraction, and his first thought is to run the other direction. But the more he learns about the woman who would risk everything to save vulnerable animals, the more he realizes what he might be willing to risk...

Book 5
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Olivia Graham has signed up to be a volunteer rescue driver, and on her first attempt to help rescue animals displaced by a flood, her car breaks down. She is waiting for someone to pick her up when a sexy man drives up.

Gabe Wentworth is a veterinarian and a volunteer at an animal shelter. When he leaves the shelter, he gets a call to help a stranded rescue driver. When he pulls up and sees the redheaded beauty, he is immediately attracted to her. Feelings he hasn't felt in years are brought to the surface.

Gabe and Olivia go on a wild ride from rescuing a dog trapped in a pen with rising river water, to her losing her phone, and then finding they work near each other. They try to make a relationship work but with the school year coming to a close, Olivia might be leaving the city to find another job.

What will happen if she has to take a job elsewhere? Can they continue a relationship seeing each other on the weekends? Will they continue to volunteer at the shelter?

This is a great story that is filled with fun, a sexy man, and fun-loving dogs and cats. This a first for me from this author and I want to read the rest of this series. If you love stories with fun, dogs, and a love to last, then you need to read this one.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/F Romance

Olivia is wanting to give back in some way and, despite loving her job as a teacher, she feels adrift. When she is asked to help drive rescued dogs from a flooded area, she jumps at the chance. However, she runs into some trouble on her way to get the dogs.

Gabe knows that he is a good vet. But with a history that has left him slightly bitter, he keeps his head down and just wants to help as many animals as he can. Yun is his best friend from school and even though she keeps him sane, she also drives him insane sometimes. It's at her insistence that he drive down to do all he can for the animals that are being displaced by a massive flood.

While Gabe is wary of helping a stranger, he sees that Olivia does need it and he can't bring himself to just strand her. This is where the romance kind of misses the target for me. They have some good chemistry here and there, but for the most part, Gabe is still hung up on his issues and Olivia is worried about where she will be next year.

They both love animals, dogs especially, but that just isn't enough to keep them in the romance department. I felt that their relationship was very young adult. It didn't really have a grownup feeling to it, and they were fairly involved in their own insecurities for the majority of the story. While I did like the dog's perspective, I wished there had been more of that and less of Gabe and Olivia's dancing around.

Overall, this was just an okay read for me. It was quick and fun, but lacked in the development of the relationship aspect. That's not to say that there was no development, it just missed the mark for me on moving their relationship forward.

Also Available in the Rescue Me Series

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 Sit, Stay, Love post.

Book 3
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our My Forever Home post.

Book 4
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Love at First Bark post.

Debbie lives in St. Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which, of course, always leads to new story ideas.

Debbie’s writing commendations include a starred review from Publishers Weekly and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews for A New Leash on Love, as well as first-place awards for short stories, flash fiction, and longer selections.

Connect with Debbie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Head Over Paws (Rescue Me #5) by Debbie Burns to read and review.