Monday, August 31, 2020

The B-Side by B. Harmony Release Blitz


When I read the roommate wanted ad, I thought my sister was encouraging me to live with an insane person. As it turns out, he isn’t insane, he’s sexy and one hundred percent my type. Living with him will be the ultimate test of my self control.

When the combination of our love of music and my overwhelming need to take care of him meets jealousy, sparks fly. His heart may be damaged, but nothing is beyond repair.

Now all I have to do is convince him that I’m in this for the long haul, not just this moment.


I may look like the happy-go-lucky gay guy with a big smile and more punny tees than one person should probably own. But it’s just a shield to protect my heart, the one that has been torn apart by the people who were meant to love me most. The last thing I’m willing to do is risk the tattered shreds on my new – straight – roommate. Sure, he’s sexy as sin and has a love of music that rivals my own, but all that is just grounds for a new friendship. Nothing more. Right?

Yet, every moment we spend together tests a little bit more of my self control. When it turns out my roommate is not as straight as I once thought, I have to decide if this is one playlist I should listen to.

Will we have our own love song, or will this just be another broken-hearted ballad?

The B-Side is a low-angst, roommates-to-lovers, MM Romance novel. Featuring punny t-shirts for every occasion, killer playlists, meddling family and friends, and a happily-ever-after.


Book 1
Buy Links

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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




My hand is on the door handle, so I turn towards his voice. Only Tyler is standing much closer than I expected. He’s in my personal space, with only inches between us, an uncertain but determined look on his face.

I gulp. “Yeah?” That came out softer and raspier than I expected.

Tyler reaches out and grabs my wrist gently, pulling my hand off the door to turn me towards him. Then, he just stares up into my eyes from beneath his lashes, his eyes speaking so loudly it’s as if he’s screaming at me. He’s not saying anything, but my body is responding to his unspoken words the way lyrics intersect and wrap around a melody.

He sways towards me a little more and whispers, “I’m glad you said yes.”

Fuck it. This is either going to go up in a ball of flames and burn down to ashes or be one of the best moments of my life. My hand cups the back of Tyler’s neck and brings him closer to me and our mouths fuse together.

Tyler’s lips are soft and hesitant. Probably from the shock of me initiating the first move. Let’s be honest; we’re both surprised over that. But after a few seconds of gentle coaxing, Tyler lets out an almost imperceptible whimper and goes from a passive to an active participant.

He parts his mouth, and I dive in to caress his tongue with my own. Tyler releases my wrist and wraps his arms around my shoulders, trying to pull me closer. Our bodies are closely connected, and I can feel every inch of him against me.

Our kiss is fierce but gentle, dancing tongues and slight nips at each other's lips. With my other hand on Tyler’s lower back, I push his hips towards mine, aligning our fronts together. I can feel his erection pressing into me through my jeans, and my dick is painfully hard trying to find its own escape.

I pull my head back just slightly to take a breath. Rather than separate from him fully, I press a kiss to the side of his mouth. We’re both breathing hard, and I've never been more turned on in my life. I move my lips down his cheek towards his jawline.





This is a sweet roommates-to-lovers romance. The sexual tension between Chance and Tyler is so good it’s almost unbearable and both men are fabulous.

Both Chance and Tyler are almost too good to be true. As a dedicated teacher and devoted uncle, Chance is toothache inducingly sweet. Tyler is larger than life and full of defiant attitude, but he’s also slightly reclusive and much more vulnerable than he first appears. The two men are both a little guarded when they meet but they complement each other perfectly.

My one gripe with this story is the central miscommunication between Tyler and Chance. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it does work to stretch out the sexual tension in the book. I was glad for some actual drama in the last third of the book because the miscommunication wasn’t quite plausible enough to hold the whole novel together. I also think that without the drama in the last third of the book, this story had the potential to be far too cute. The drama at the end adds some realism to balance out the sweet and fluffy start.

I really enjoyed the supporting characters in this story. Chance’s sister and her family are wonderful, and I loved Tyler’s best friend. I also loved the music that connects the two men. Tyler’s t-shirts add humour and the friendship that builds between Chance and Tyler is lovely.

This was a sweet, low-angst, friends-to-lovers book. Tyler and Chance are so good together. The pun t-shirts made me laugh every single time! The chemistry is off the charts but they both hold back to make this a slower burn story. There's not much drama until the later part of the book. Tyler and Chance are super sweet guys that you can't help but root for.



Harmony is a Texas girl with SoCal roots with a penchant for rock music and happily ever afters. She began her journey as a romance author after spending a year as a book blogger and bookstgrammer in the romance community.

She has been writing on and off for years, but The B-Side is the first novel that has reached completion.

Harmony lives in Texas with her husband, two children, and two fur babies. She spends her free time drinking too much coffee, swearing, and reading & writing while simultaneously watching baseball.

Connect with Harmony

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B's Harmonizers Facebook Group





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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The B-Side (Perspective #1) by B. Harmony to read and review for this tour.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Once in a Blue Moon by Sharon Sala

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala brings you back to Blessings, Georgia.

How often do you find a love like this?

Cathy Terry is tired of running. Full of fear and hope, she backpacked across the country to Blessings, Georgia, not knowing if or when her abusive ex-husband would catch up to her. In Blessings she glimpses a safe haven and the closest feeling to home she's had in a long time—even more so when she meets Duke Talbot. The sweet, strong, and handsome rancher provides a shoulder to lean on. The stakes get higher as the community embraces her and her relationship with Duke deepens—but can Cathy claim a new home and family before her past claims her?

Don’t miss our reviews of the Blessings, Georgia series. Just click HERE.

Book 10
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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

It was lovely to be back in Blessings, Georgia. Once in a Blue Moon is the tenth book in the series and you’d think I’d be getting tired of it by now, but I still love it and look forward to every book and spending time with these good people.

We see divorcee Cathy Terry stopping in town for the winter after walking out on her life after threats on her life from her ex-husband. When she falls while out jogging, local farmer Duke stops to help her. This is where Terry’s introduction to how the good people of Blessing look after their own begins. And so does a budding romance between Duke and Terry.

Terry is a strong woman who came from humble beginnings and married a millionaire but she is right at home in Blessings. Duke is a big, overprotective farmer with a history of saying the wrong thing to women and seeing him smitten with Terry was cute. He treats her like a queen and I loved that.

Aside from the sweet romance, which is central to the story, we deal with accidents, cattle rustling, a rabid animal, shootings, a viral video, and much more. There is never a dull moment and the story flows well and is so entertaining. I loved Once in a Blue Moon. This is another great story from Sharon Sala.

SHARON SALA has over one hundred books in print and has published in five different genres. She is an eight-time RITA finalist, five-time Career Achievement winner from RT Book Reviews, and five-time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

Connect with Sharon

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Once in a Blue Moon (Blessings, Georgia #10) by Sharon Sala to read and review.

Wood by A.E. Via Blog Tour

This isn't a romance about billionaires, movie stars, or models. This is a story of two ordinary, working-class men, dealing with life’s real problems, and trying to find love along the way.

It’s been a long seventeen years but Herschel Wood Jr. is finally a free man and he’s looking forward to reconnecting with his old cellmate, Bishop Stockley, who promised him a place to stay and some help getting back on his feet. Wood had a good life once upon time when he’d owned one of the most successful tattoo shops on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront – until a fatal accident that was his fault cost him everything.

Now at forty-six years old, all Wood wants is to work in another shop on the beach and find a mature, easygoing man to settle down with. But when he gets to his new place and finds he has to share the small trailer with Bishop’s childhood friend, he wasn’t expecting a sexy, smart-mouthed brat that enjoys pushing a man to his limits.

Wood pressed in tight until there was only misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”

Trent Armstrong has never been considered a catch. He’s a twenty-nine year old laborer, an ex-con, and not the easiest person to get along with. He’s used to being the one people cast to the side when they're done with him. Everyone he’s ever cared about has walked out of his life without a backward glance, so he’s used to the loneliness. His foul mouth and quick temper are a great defense mechanism and an easy way to hide his hurt.

From the moment the tattooed, silver-haired man walked into the house there had been nothing but tension, side-eyeing, and sparks between them. Trent has always held back a side of himself that he’s terrified to explore, and without warning Wood’s voice, his maturity, that maddening scent, and even his damaged past all trigger feelings that Trent thought he’d buried deep long ago.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood whispered. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

The True Lover's Stories are connected standalones. Each title features a different couple but will contain previously mentioned characters.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.
Note: This is a steaming agnsty, age gap, new-to-love romance.

Trigger Warning: AA Recovery

Don’t miss book one in the True Lover’s Stories series, Bishop. For reviews & more info, click HERE.

Book 2
Buy Links

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~ Also Available with KindleUnlimited ~

“Are you fucking crazy?” Trent hissed through clenched teeth, but the nerve he’d had behind his earlier words were gone, now replaced with caution… and lust.

“I asked you politely not to call me that. Now, I’m telling you. Don’t. Do it. My name is Herschel Wood, Jr. No middle name. You can call me Herschel, or Wood, that’s it. I would’ve told you that if you’d bothered to ask.” Wood fumed. He had his forearm across Trent’s chest, pushing his back into the closet door at the end of the dark hallway. He couldn’t believe what he was doing, but how dare Trent drive him to the edge like this? Wood pressed in so tight until there was only air and misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me, you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”

Trent’s eyes blazed as he tried to shove off the door, but Wood held him in check with his mass. “Fuck you.” Trent grunted, his hot gaze lasered on Wood’s lips.

Wood gave him a smirk and enjoyed as Trent squirmed even more against him. “You think I don’t know the game you’re playing? Maybe no one else does—even though I taught Bishop better—but I can see right through your transparent ass, Trent. So damn clearly.”

Trent’s masked desires were obvious—Wood had seen it the moment he’d laid eyes on him. He knew he hadn’t been wrong. But he’d wanted to leave Trent off-limits. Bishop just wanted them to be friends, but Wood was afraid he was finally going to have to tell his buddy that it wasn’t going to happen. The four of them wouldn’t be hanging out together all the time. There was too much screwed-up shit going on with Trent, and Wood deserved some peaceful days. He didn’t have the patience to put up with crap from hesitant men anymore. He had no doubt that Trent was pushing his buttons… because he wanted Wood to push his in return.

“Wood,” Trent snarled, as he clutched tightly to his shoulders with both hands.

Wood’s answer was another cunning smile. Did Trent even realize that he wasn’t pushing Wood away, he was holding him close? Wood wouldn’t point that out just yet. If Trent wanted to have some fun with him, then fine. He’d entertain himself until it was time for him to leave. He should’ve known this setup was too good to be true. What Trent pulled on him was exactly the kind of typical mess Wood was used to. People judging and condemning him for no reason.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “The fuck are you doing?”

“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood clenched his teeth. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

“I’m not playing anything,” he breathed.

“Oh yeah you are.” Wood released Trent suddenly, but he didn’t pull away. He leaned in until his mouth was against Trent’s ear. “But I’m about to show you I’m much better at this game than you are.” Wood slowly eased away, then cocked his head to the side, motioning to Trent’s punishing grip he still had on his shoulders. “Now let me go.”

I loved this book. Trent and Wood are so real. I felt like I was right there with them the entire book. I love Trent's snark, even when he was annoying me. Wood was just perfect in my eyes. These two together were just... perfect. I didn't want the book to end, but the ending was great. I can't wait for the next book!

3.5 stars

This is the gritty story of two ex-cons with difficult pasts who are thrown together as roommates after Wood’s release from prison. Both Wood and Trent are attempting fresh starts after complicated, messy lives. This isn’t an easy read and I’m not sure I was in the right headspace for it when I read it.

Trent and Wood are scarred men living hard lives. Both are well developed characters and their stories are entirely believable. Their emotions are intense and the romance that builds between them feels organic. There are some crazy hot sex scenes and a whole lot of delicious sexual tension between Trent and Wood. However, I tend to read romance as escapist entertainment, and I found it challenging to engage with these two very difficult men. Both of these men have enough off-putting baggage to make me pause. I’m not sure I liked either of them – though it would be difficult not to have empathy for their situations.

I have always associated A.E. Via with larger than life crime solving adventures and this is the exact opposite. It’s as realistic, slow, and gritty as the Nothing Special books are fast paced and farfetched. The actual writing is much stronger than in many of the author’s previous books, but I do miss the playfulness of the author’s earlier writing. This book took me a long time to read. The pacing is slow, and I had to take breaks from the gritty realism. For me, 2020 has already been more than a little too realistic – I can’t take too much more darkness in the books I read.

A.E. VIA has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay literature for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great, new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

novels embody everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is well-known for her hardcore, love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date!
Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next

Connect with A.E.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wood (True Lover’s Stories #2) by A.E. Via to read and review for this tour.

Taunting Callum by Kristen Proby Spotlight

From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kristen Proby comes an all new stand-alone novel in her beloved Big Sky Series!

His Royal Highness Callum Wakefield lives a carefree, luxurious life. As the King of England’s youngest son, and thus not the heir apparent, he has more freedom and less royal responsibilities. He spends his days traveling the world, indulging in the extravagance afforded by his family name. But after years of hopping from one country to the next, the place that holds the most appeal is Cunningham Falls, Montana. And the only woman on his mind is a fiery redhead with an infectious laugh.

The one who hates him.

Aspen Calhoun is the new owner of Drips & Sips. It’s taken her many years to find a place to belong, and she’s perfectly happy living a quiet life. Or she would be, if a certain prince would stop coming to town.

Aspen and Callum shared one incredible night together two years ago before he returned to his opulent life, subsequently forgetting all about her. Ego bruised and pride wounded, Aspen doesn’t know why he’s back. And she doesn’t care. She refuses to fall for his charms again.

But Callum is determined to stay in Cunningham Falls and make it up to Aspen, no matter how long it takes. Because while she was out of sight, she was most certainly not out of mind.

Book 3
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

“You’re not a dream, are you?”

His lips tip up in an arrogant smile. “Well, in what context are you referring?”

Why is his accent so damn sexy? I mean, he looks like that, and he sounds sexy, as well? Inconceivable.

“This is the most bizarre conversation I’ve ever had. And trust me when I say I’ve had some crazy encounters. What are you doing here?”

“I told you,” he says, setting the rag on the counter and walking around to me once more. “I want to take you to dinner. Or somewhere. I’d like to get to know you better, Aspen.”

I lick my lips. He’s so close now, I can feel the heat of him. He would scramble the brains of any warm-blooded woman. But I haven’t flirted with a man in years. And I certainly haven’t entertained the idea of dating one. Or, better yet, having sex with one. But with Callum standing mere feet away, that’s precisely what I’m thinking.

“You surprise me,” I admit in a soft voice.

“How’s that?”

“You cleaned those tables without batting an eye.”

“I’ve cleaned far worse, I can assure you.” I tilt my head, watching him. I can see his pulse in his neck.

“You’re a prince.”

He narrows his eyes and moves in closer, not touching me but certainly crowding. He smells like mint and sunshine.

“I’m just a man, Aspen.” His lips graze my cheek. “A man very taken with you, I might add.”

I swallow hard. Holy shit. My breathing comes harder, and an ache sets up shop in my very core.

I want him.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so attracted to a man before. Not even Greg. No one.

And if I ponder that for too long, the guilt will likely set in.

Instead, I turn my head and brush my nose over his jawline.

I want him to touch me. I want to feel things that have been missing from my life for years. Suddenly, I want it with this perfect stranger.

“Aspen,” he whispers.


“Tell me you don’t feel this.”

I swallow again. “I can’t.”

He growls as he plunges his hands into my hair and closes his lips over mine in the kiss of the century. His moves are smooth and sure. Assertive.

That’s what Callum is: confident.

But before the kiss goes any further, he backs up and stares down at me with intense brown eyes. “I can’t do what I want to you here. All of bloody Montana could look through those windows, and I won’t have you caught in a scandal.”

“Office,” I reply immediately. With his hand in mine, I lead him through to the back of the café and my personal space there. It’s not fancy, but it’s private.

“Brilliant,” he says as he shuts the door behind him.

Kristen Proby has published more than forty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion and Romancing Manhattan Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two cats.

Connect with Kristen

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Proby's Peeps Facebook Group

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Yours to Keep by Lauren Layne

An irresistible baseball star and a resistant hometown girl stumble into love in a flirty romance by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Pro baseball shortstop Carter Ramsey is about to be Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, but the only title that matters to him is out of reach: World Series MVP. Benched by a recent injury, Carter retreats to his hometown to recover. His ten-year class reunion and a potential reconciliation with the sweetheart he left behind could be perfect distractions. Until another old acquaintance throws Carter a curveball.

Olive Dunn admits that her former high school science partner is still a handsome charmer. But she wasn’t swayed then, and she won’t be swayed now. Because Olive remembers Carter’s little shortcoming: he tends to bail the moment it suits him, without a backward glance. Best to keep her feelings strictly platonic while he’s in town.

Except the entitled boy she knew is a changed man: solid, reflective, and generous. As they ease back in to their familiar friendship, things take a surprising turn, and Carter and Olive must decide if what they have is a passing flirtation or a real shot at love.

Don’t miss book one in the Man of the Year series, Yours in Scandal. For reviews & more info, click HERE.

Book 2
Buy Links

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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

4.5 stars of sexy, small-town, comedy romance

This is the second book in the series, and I definitely enjoyed book one, but this was just such a fun read. I am a big Lauren Layne fan, and when she does snark and sports, you can guarantee a fun read. I read this in a day, because I really just had to know how she was going to turn it around.

So Carter is back in his hometown, facing rehab from an injury which could end his career. All this leads to introspection about his future, and his lack of a solid future. He cannot deny that part of the reason he was persuaded home was for the ten-year high school reunion. He and his sweetheart, Felicity, parted ten years ago, promising they would marry each other if still single in ten years’ time. She is recently divorced, and though they haven't seen each other in the intervening decade... who knows!

But then the very first thing that happens is that he meets his temporary neighbour whilst home, Olive Dunn, his onetime chemistry lab partner. And let's be honest, as first impressions go, it is to say the least confusing, but certainly she is not the supermodel type he is used to in New York City. But we can see the hints of a spark... but are still mindful of Felicity waiting in the wings. Yes, this can lead to plenty of low-level angst, but in the meantime, they are friends.

I cannot tell you how many times I laughed at the wit and the silly in this book. I was also cheering on the potential for a really great relationship, and undoubtedly some sexy, if complicated by the arm-in-a-cast scenarios. It really is a fun book, there is such a cool vibe built up between them, and it is never spoiled by nastiness, even if rumours abound.

Hugely enjoyable, perfect escapism, and if you ever feared you couldn't play softball, well I think Olive will have you beat.

Yours to Keep is the second book in the Man of The Year series by Lauren Layne, but can be read as a standalone without any issues. Layne is one of my favorite authors and my go-to for a perfect happily ever after rom-com book. I never have any issue getting swept away into the story from the first page to the last page.

Carter Ramsey, a pro baseball shortstop, is soon to be Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year. But when a recent injury has him benched, he decides to spend some time recovering back in his hometown and maybe finally reconnecting with his high school sweetheart. However, life throws Carter a curve ball when he finds himself neighbors with his old lab partner, Olive Dunn.

I really ended up pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed both Olive Dunn and Carter Ramsey’s story. It was a nice change of pace that Yours to Keep didn’t take place in Manhattan, but in Connecticut. Plus, I just loved Olive’s character and how she was such a strong female character. I loved reading how Carter and Olive’s friendship evolved throughout the story. Plus, I really just felt like the chemistry and friendship came across so authentic.

All in all, four stars, for Yours to Keep by Lauren Layne was another fantastic addition. I can’t wait to see what Layne has in store for us next!

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I really enjoyed this book. The supposed second chance at romance love story is one of the main plot devices but it never comes to pass. What the story does deliver on is the great romance between Carter and Olive.

They are opposites that really do attract; Olive doesn't hold back and Carter realizes that he really likes that about her. Olive soon realizes that Carter isn't some stuck-up ball player who is only here to recuperate and never look back.

This is a series that I can't wait for book three to come out.

LAUREN LAYNE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Hot Asset, Hard Sell, and Huge Deal in her 21 Wall Street series, as well as her Central Park Pact series. Her books have sold more than a million copies in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

Connect with Lauren

Website  ~  Goodreads
Lauren Layne Reader Facebook Group (Fan Admins)

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne to read and review.

Slash by Laurelin Paige Blog Tour

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laurelin Paige comes a new story in her Slay series…

Camilla Fasbender has a secret.

Underneath her posh accent and designer clothes lies the evidence of her pain.

Every heartbreak, every bad day, every setback has left a scar.

From behind her camera, she shows the world what to see. And it isn't her.

Until him.

He sees right through her carefully constructed facade.

And he's going to slash it all to pieces.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Book 4.5
Buy Links

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Hendrix didn’t strike me as ridiculous. Or impulsive. Or silly.

Why on earth, then, would he believe that there could be something worth seeking out with me? If that’s what he meant at all. Which... he did, didn’t he?

It’s confusing, and confusion makes me hide, on the whole. But since I can’t hide because I’m the fucking teacher in this class—seriously, how did this happen?—and for some reason the educator is expected to stay present, I find my confusion turning to anger. It works itself through me until the beauty of our night together is cropped out of my memory and what’s left is trite and fleeting. His presence feels nothing like flattery—which it did feel flattering, admittedly, for a half second there in the midst of everything else. Now, though, it just feels invasive and unprofessional and mean.

Perhaps I’d confront him about it, if I were a different sort of person, one who isn’t afraid to stand up to a challenge. One who isn’t afraid to live her life.

But I’m not that sort of person, so after I give out the assignments and send the students on their way, I plan to gather my things and get on my way as soon as possible, so fond of hiding that I am. I was stupid enough to believe—or perhaps hopeful is the better term—that Hendrix would let me do that, as he’d let me leave that night in Paris, not that I’d given him a choice.

He doesn’t, though, of course. Of course. He approaches me, his leather camera bag slung over his shoulder, a man satchel underneath.

“Camilla,” he says in that American accent that makes me both cringe and swoon all at once, and for the briefest of moments I find myself considering something different for a change. I consider staying.

But underneath my long sleeve polo neck, my skin throbs with an intensity that equals the blaring of a car alarm, and I think of Fred waiting for me at home to take him out for ice cream and the dead husband who hurt me as much as he loved me and the ugliness that marks me inside and out. And in the chaos of those thoughts, there is no option to stay.

“You being here is in bad taste,” I say before he has a chance to say anything else. “Don’t do this to me.”

I brush past him then, and with the heat of that brief contact following me in radiating waves, I rush outside to disappear among the Saturday-morning Londoners who are out enjoying the early signs of spring.

This is a really moving, sexy, and very enjoyable read. It deals with some difficult issues in a very beautiful way, and Hendrix definitely put all his experience of animal nature to good use in being patient, open, caring, and honest. Everything that Camilla needed, and had never been able to feel she deserved to receive. I have not read the Slay series, but it has been on my list for a while, and it will now be moving up. In that, Camilla is the sister of the lead male character, so I am fascinated to see how he dealt with the cards they were dealt, and how instrumental he was in Camilla reaching this point in her life.

I loved the photography sessions, the knowledge that there was this undercurrent of passion threaded through the room and the conversations were enticing. The use of jealousy, of familiarity, and of parenthood to all affect how someone behaves after such a traumatic life, it all made for a very rich novella.

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

Hendrix never forgot Camilla. She opened his heart and stole it, never truly returning it. But when she leaves him and heads back to her own life, Hendrix has to decide if he truly wants to pursue it.

Camilla never forgot Hendrix and when she sees that name on her class roster, she starts to get a little nervous. She knows the pull that Hendrix had over her and isn't too sure she'll be able to resist him. She hasn't had the easiest life and has scars both self-inflicted and inflicted upon her.

Hendrix is used to being patient and steady. He isn't willing to let Camilla just hide behind her camera. She is a puzzle that he wants to complete, learn, and memorize.

These two have great chemistry that just builds as the story goes. Both have to learn each other again and be willing to give of themselves. It was a sweet story and I really enjoyed it.

With millions of books sold worldwide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. She is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Killing Eve, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She's also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn't do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Slash (Slay Quartet #4.5) by Laurelin Paige to read and review for this tour.