Monday, May 31, 2021

Deeper Than the Ocean by Julie Ann Walker Release Blitz

They’re on the hunt for a legendary sunken treasure. But what they find is worth more than gold. Deeper Than the Ocean by Julie Ann Walker. Now Available.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker delivers perfect pulse-pounding romantic suspense! The former Navy SEALs of Deep Six Salvage thought they could retire to the sea and hunt for treasures of the deep, but when trouble comes to visit, there'll be hell to pay.

Ray “Wolf” Roanhorse took one look at Chrissy and knew she was the woman of his dreams. There’s a hitch, however. He screwed things up with her. Big time. Now all she wants is to be friends. He’ll have to be his most charismatic and charming self if he has any hope of changing her mind. And winning her heart.

Christina Szarek knows all about sexy, brooding men like Wolf. She grew up watching her mother fall for – and be broken by – plenty of them. If she had her way, she’d avoid Wolf altogether. But they’re partners in the hunt for the Santa Cristina’s legendary treasure. Avoidance is impossible. And the longer she’s near him, the more he chips away at the walls she’s erected against him.

The danger to Chrissy doesn’t only come from her burgeoning feelings, however. There are mysterious players who would see her silenced – for good. And Wolf, with his wicked grin and spec-ops training, is all that stands between her and a date with death in the deep.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Deep Six series!
For book one, Hell or High Water, click HERE.
For book two, Devil and the Deep, click HERE.
For book three, Ride the Tide, click HERE.


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Deeper Than the Ocean by Julie Ann Walker

Book 4
Buy Links

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



Tough and tender don’t have to be mutually exclusive. He’d taught her that.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

Wolf loves his job. He loves his crew. He wants to be able to settle down with someone he loves and live his life. When his crew finds a potential burial site for an impressive treasure, they set out to uncover what they can. But with funds running low, morale lower, and a feisty woman running as fast as she can away from him, Wolf isn't too sure about this adventure.

Christina loves her job. She has great friends, but also some traumatic history that won't allow her to truly rely on anyone but herself. When she and her friend are caught up in a mystery, she knows she'll have to rely on someone, because she's stumped.

Wolf and his team try to uncover the mystery behind Christina being hurt, but with locals coming in to try and fix it, not knowing who is behind it, everyone becomes a suspect.

Christina will have to lower her defenses a little in order to help solve the mystery. Wolf will have to be patient and willing to show Christina that he's not like the other men she's encountered. These two have a dance that will wind them together.

I enjoyed this book. It's the first I've read in the series, and while I didn't feel that I was missing anything, maybe I'll go back and read the previous books.

This is the fourth book in the series, and I absolutely recommend that you read them in order. This band of retired SEALs are on a huge adventure, and you really need to be following that plot line as well as enjoying the romances that fall out of their venture. Being around these guys really isn't the safest place to be, but they do care for their own and use their considerable talents to defend.

Things are hotting up on the island, the sunken ship has been found, now they just need to discover treasure... I do love the jeopardy which comes with this series, and the guys really are desperate to rebuild their finances and need to find the gold.

We focus on Wolf and Chrissy in this book, and their journey to this point has been difficult, but little did they realise the danger still to come. Chrissy and her friend, Winston, step unknowingly into a situation which gets them shot... and off we go on another complicated and, this time, sad situation, as it is uncovered who was behind the attacks. It does, however, finally give Wolf a chance to prove his genuine love and devotion to Chrissy, and she may even just believe him. For a man who has sisters, he really did make a huge error of judgement and has a lot to make up for – it is fun watching him try.

I am already looking forward to the next installment – surely they will succeed soon? And Mia is finally coming out of her shell, so fireworks can be expected from that possible match too!



But she had insisted all she wanted from him was friendship. Friendship… Never in his life had that word sounded more wretched than the day it come out of her pretty mouth.


Author Bio

JULIE ANN WALKER is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as "alpha, edgy, and downright hot." Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Connect with Julie Ann

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads




Want to win an ebook copy of Deeper Than the Ocean?

As you probably know, the Deep Six series takes place in the Key West, which is where our blog mistress currently resides. So, tell us:

Have you ever been to Key West or the Florida Keys? If so, what’s your favorite place to visit while there?

If you haven’t been, would you like to visit? If so, is there a specific sight you’d like to see while there?

The giveaway will close on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at noon (ET).
The winner will be randomly selected from comments left on this blog post.
Reminder: Comments are moderated, so your comment will not appear until it's been approved by a blog administrator.



There are no guarantees in love. That’s what makes it so precious. And what makes it worth it.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Deeper Than the Ocean (Deep Six #4) by Julie Ann Walker to read and review for this tour.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Sweet Hart by Rae Marks Blog Tour

Blog Tour. Rae Marks’ Sweet Hart.

When Brayden stumbles into a covert operation, Sam has to keep him alive. Together they navigate their unexpected attraction and the world of the Ukrainian mafia.

Brayden Hart needs to find his older brother Mason and time is running out. Mason disappeared after being discharged from the military two years before. While on leave from the army, Bray follows a lead his friend has been able to find. When he knocks on the door of a dingy apartment outside Miami, the last person he expects to meet is the gorgeous but grumpy Sam Wheeler.

Sam denies knowing Bray's brother and turns him away. But Sam is Bray's only lead. Luckily, Bray's childhood friend is one of the best hackers in the country and helps Bray follow Sam to Ukraine.

In Kiev, Bray falls blindly into the fray of a covert operation and Sam steps in to keep him alive. While navigating the choppy waters of the Ukrainian mafia, Bray and Sam fall into the bedroom. But what happens when the mission ends?

Reader advisory: This book contains references to historical rape, child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. There are also scenes of violence.


Add to Goodreads


Sweet Hart by Rae Marks

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Paperback (US)  ~  Pride Publishing




“He’s adorable,” Colt purred through the mic.

Even though he knew it was a joke, Sam found his gaze flicking to the door down the hall where Colt, Ax and Brody were cooped up doing surveillance. Sam was off his game today and the blond in front of him was responsible. He’d never expected Mase’s family to get entangled in their op.

“Better get him out of here and quick, Magnum. Your mark is T-minus eight minutes,” Ax said.

Sam wanted to roll his eyes at his call sign. He hadn’t used it in years, but Colt and Ax had of course started using it as soon as they’d found out what it was. Colt went by Reaper. Ax’s call had been Loco. It wasn’t exactly fair that Sam got the name of a cheesy eighties TV character. Damn mustache.

Sam leaned in and told the kid again that he couldn’t help him. Brayden Hart kept licking his lips and it was making Sam’s pants tighter than he liked. It was probably a nervous habit, but it kept drawing attention to his perfectly formed mouth, not to mention his razor-sharp jaw.

Sam usually dated guys his own age, but Mase’s little brother was ringing all his bells. All the more reason to get him out of the way. Brayden had no idea what he’d just stepped into.

After a few more delay tactics, Brayden finally moved his foot from blocking the door. It was a good thing too, because the stench in the hallway was pretty unbearable. It also gave Sam a minute to let his body calm down before he had to meet with some pretty serious homophobes. The last thing he needed was a tent in his jeans.

As soon as he closed the door, Sam went to his laptop. He opened it and watched the security cameras located throughout the building.

“One of you needs to tail him to make sure we’re the only ones who know he was here.”

“Be more than happy to follow that ass—” Colt started.

“Bro, you follow him. And make sure you’re the only one following him.”

“Sure thing, Sam,” Bro replied.

“Did you know they were twins? Can you imagine if they were identical?” Colt groaned.

“Kid looks smart enough not to fall for your bullshit,” Ax said.

Someone snorted and Sam assumed it was Bro, since it was only his three back-ups in the apartment down the hall, and no way was Colt going to laugh at a joke at his expense, even if the guy was a manwhore.

Sam hadn’t known they were twins. He knew Mase had two younger brothers but not much beyond that. They tried to leave the past in the past. But two guys who looked like that kid? No one in their right mind would be able to resist putting that in their spank bank.

Sam watched as Brayden stood in the hall and stared at his closed door. Normally he'd be completely turned off when someone pushed back as hard as Brayden had. He could respect it, sure, but to have it turn him on was disconcerting.

Mase’s kid brother had made it seem brave. The desperation in those pretty blue eyes had Sam actually considering opening the door back up to comfort him... Brayden Hart.



“I don’t imagine many people get to see you on your knees,” Bray blurted. He wanted to face-palm himself. Why did he get so tongue-tied around Sam?     “Only you,” Sam replied with a smirk.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book had a lot going on. I am sure it was to build the universe for the series. There are multiple characters and then a storyline that didn't really get wrapped up, so I am going to assume it will continue in another book in the series. Sam and Bray have mega chemistry, so hot. But Sam was in the military and seems like he forgot everything he learned while serving. This book was good, but it wasn't a favorite of mine.



He’s forced to navigate the world of the mafia as he fights his attraction to his protector.


Author Bio

RAE MARKS has been secretly penning romances since high school. It started with short stories that grew into full-length novels. When she received her first Kindle and had thousands of books at her fingertips, she became a little distracted from writing. Then one day she read a book that she would have written a different way. She began writing again and hasn't stopped since.

When she's not writing, Rae can usually be found reading, walking along the beaches of Half Moon Bay, or taking her geriatric dog to the vet, yet again.

Connect with Rae

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Rae's Rogue Readers





Can Sam and Brayden keep each other alive without falling head over heels?


Hosted by

Gay Romance Reviews Tours & Promo

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Sweet Hart (Hart Consulting #1) by Rae Marks to read and review for this tour.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Fling by M. Robinson Release Blitz

The Fling by M. Robinson.

From Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author M. Robinson comes a new stand-alone romantic comedy.

What happens when you make a pact with your boys to stay single and never fall in love?

Well, you get the Playboy Pact.

I was the playmaker. The one with the best moves, the best lines. I was the best at everything…
And I mean, everything.
There was no woman immune to my charm. To my looks. To my bed-hopping ways.

It was supposed to be easy. A quick, fun, mind-blowing night where she screamed out my name in ecstasy.

No feelings.
No past.
No strings attached.

I broke the rules.
I broke the pact.

I fell for her smile.
Her laugh.
Our instant connection.
Except, I never expected to fall in love.

Especially with a single mom…

Of twins.


Add to Goodreads


The Fling by M. Robinson

Book 2
Buy Links

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



To me, he was Haiden the Hellion. To his mother, he was her precious angel.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

When I saw this book come up on the review list, I knew I wanted to read it even without reading anything about it. This author is well known to me for her heart-wrenching stories that I love, and I fell in love with Ashton and Sage in this romcom.

Ashton met Sage on her 16th birthday, and he never forgot her. And Sage has thought of Ashton over the last seven years too. When they meet again, the connection is still there between them.

While Sage is looking for something more than a one-night stand, Ashton doesn't do relationships. But he thinks if anyone can change his mind, it would be Sage. Can these two make it work and live happily ever after?

This story is fun, flirty, a little sad, and the best of it all for Sage and Ashton. I need to go back and read the first book before I read the next one. This series is going to be so much fun.

The Fling is the second installment in the Playboy Pact series. I personally read it as a standalone without issue, other an I NEED to go back and read The Kiss, book one!

What happens when four playboy high school friends make a pact to never fall in love? They eventually fall in love. Ashton is the ultimate playboy, even at sixteen. He's charming and knows girls can't resist him. When he randomly meets Sage at a party for a quick minute, there is something about her that he can't forget, even eight years later. Can Sage be the one to make Ashton break the pact?

Sage is now a single mother to hilariously adorable eight-year-old twins. She has been raising the kids on her own when their father wanted nothing to do with them. But now she needs to take time for herself and her best friend will make sure of it. When she agreed to speed dating, she never expected to see a blast from her past. Can she completely open up to Ashton?

I loved this read and couldn't stop reading. I was so invested and loved everything about these characters. They were so perfectly matched. The chemistry was chart topping and the banter between them was hilarious. I can't wait to see what's next with these playboys!



Ever so slightly, I rubbed her.     “Oh, my god…”     “I’ve barely touched you, and you’re already calling me god.”


Author Bio

M. ROBINSON is the Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author crowned as the "Queen of Angst" by readers around the world. Dive into her visionary world that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and leave you wanting more. She writes everything from contemporary to suspense romance and is best known for her novel, El Diablo.

When M isn't in the cave writing her next epic love story, you will find her shopping and living on a boat in Florida with her real life pirate, her lobster, her husband, Bossman. Sipping on Starbucks and hanging out with their two dogs, a German shepherd mix and a gordito Wheaten Terrier reading a good book. Or spending time with her family, who she is extremely close with.

Above all, M loves her readers more than anything and loves to connect with them! She is on all social media platforms but you will find her in her happy place the most. Her VIP Reader Group on Facebook or her second favorite happy place, Instagram.

Connect with M.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: M. Robinson’s VIP Reader Group



I guess I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.


Hosted by

Wildfire Marketing Solutions

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Fling (Playboy Pact #2) by M. Robinson to read and review for this tour.

Friendzoned by Rachel Blaufeld Blog Tour

With plenty of secrets between them, copious pure maple syrup, and a hippy-dippy sidekick, Ben and Murphy are in for a wild and sticky ride. Friendzoned by Rachel Blaufeld. Available Now!

When Murphy Landon, the New York socialite, runs off to Vermont with her bruised reputation and stylish wardrobe in the trunk of a used car, it’s the first time in her life she’s dared to turn her back on her high-society parents.

Used to grabbing a gourmet coffee whenever the urge strikes, Murphy finds herself on the other side of the counter, fumbling strangers’ orders... until a sinfully handsome thirty-three year old version of Ben Rooney from high school walks in.

The pair met years ago at a prestigious boarding school and became friends, but only behind closed doors. She’d been a spoiled brat, and he was a football player on scholarship. Ben tried to hide his crush on her, and Murphy set firm boundaries. After a prom night gone wrong, they’d gone their separate ways.

Now their circumstances are reversed. Ben is a successful surgeon. He’s come a long way from his parents’ humble maple syrup business. And Murphy is pouring his coffee? Is this a joke?

His first thought is that she should drive her gorgeous self right back to New York, where she can’t possibly break his heart. His second one is deep concern. His third thought is he wants a do-over of prom night. A very adult one…

With plenty of secrets between them, copious pure maple syrup, and a hippy-dippy sidekick, Ben and Murphy are in for a wild and sticky ride.

Friendzoned is a stand-alone novel in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North.

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the Busy Bean series!
For book one, Sweetheart, click HERE.
For book three, Cakewalk, click HERE.


Add to Goodreads


Friendzoned by Rachel Blaufeld

Book 4
Buy Links

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




My head felt congested like when spring allergies first come on. A dull ache throbbed in my forehead and ears, the kind of ache that lingered. I wondered why Ben was here in Colebury—at least a half hour from Montpelier—while his blue eyes urgently bore into me, trying to tell me something telepathically. Maybe he simply wanted me to leave him alone.

“Um, my Americano?”

My cheeks burst into flames. “Right. I’m on it.”

Forcing myself to look down at the counter, I made the drink. At least this wasn’t an order I could mess up. My thoughts, typically a jumbled mess of espresso drink recipes, was now swirling with memories of Ben then compared to the reality of Ben now... this new version of him.

When I handed him the reusable mug, he tightened the cap and said, “Thanks. You didn’t try to poison me, did you?”

Swallowing my pride, I shook my head. “Of course not. I would never. Plus, Zara wouldn’t be too happy with that. She’s a good one,” I said, the last part a whisper. She’d given me a chance, after all.

“At one time, you did try.” He raised a brow, alluding to the badly spiked punch at Burnett’s after-prom party.

I’d felt compelled to go to that stupid party, determined to show my ex what a good time I was having with Ben. Except, poor Ben got sick and spent the evening puking, and I was at a loss about what to do with him. I’d never been very good at putting anyone else first. After all, I’d never had to.

Ben took a long sip of his coffee, mesmerizing me with the bob of his Adam’s apple. He cleared his throat, drawing my attention away from his corded neck. “Not bad.”

Take that, Little Miss Perfect.

“Wow. Murphy Landon. In the Busy Bean. On the opposite side of the counter than I bet you’re used to being, huh? Tell you the truth, I’d never thought I’d see the day. You doing this,” he waved his hand at the counter, “right here in Vermont.”

He stared at me with equal parts fascination and contempt, probably because I let him get rip-roaring drunk and make a fool of himself way back when.

“It’s an honest job,” I said, “and I happen to need it. Anyway, I thought you were in a hurry, but now you have time to make fun of me?”

I frowned at him, feeling the need to defend myself when I didn’t owe Ben a single thing. After all, I’d come to believe that he hadn’t always been honest with me. Not to mention, Ben was just as guilty about lumping me into stereotypes as I had done with him. Right?

“Oh, I’m sure you need this gig. Like you needed good grades in high school, as if you weren’t going to get into the Ivy League from Pressman. Aw, sorry.”

He ran his free hand through his hair. It happened to be his left, and I made the mistake of noting he wasn’t wearing a wedding band.

“I don’t mean to be rude,” he said. “This is such a shock, seeing you here, and I’m not handling it well. You look good, Murph. Nice to see you. Honestly. I mean it,” he said, holding a hand up as if he were swearing to it.



Get sticky with these former prep school frenemies.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the fourth book in the series, and I would highly recommend that you read them in order, as the links and world building will give you a much richer experience.

Murphy is working at the Busy Bean, but really doesn't fit the usual bill of a barista. We soon learn that she has escaped from a bit of a scandal in New York City, where her politician father and pushy (understatement of the millennium) mother rule her life, even now she is in her thirties. She plans on returning one day, but for now needs to regroup and consider what her values are, rather than those of her socialite parents. I liked her naivety and her honesty, but she has still some more lessons to learn. What is truly lovely is how she finds that she has the ability to make friends, real genuine, trustworthy friends. Whilst most of us aren't that sympathetic of the poor little rich girl, Murphy is clearly torn between family loyalty, expectations, and breaking free, and for her, the friendships really are the breaking point. I like that it wasn't just Ben who made her see what was important, but that knowing what was important, he was the most important of all.

Ben and Murphy knew each other at their posh prep school. He was the scholarship boy, never fitting in and very much in love with Murphy. Since then, he has become a successful surgeon, designed a medical app which is making him a lot of money, and is back in town to support his parents and sister. Little did he expect to ever see Murphy again. All the emotions he feels really shake him up and make him question his feelings, his priorities, and whether it can all be true and his for the taking.

I loved that Murphy makes friends with Hunnie and Gigi, and how she used her marketing skills to promote them all... and set up a book club in the Busy Bean. Although, of course, I loved the epilogue possibly most of all!



I like your parents. I hardly think it will win me any extra credit if they find me spread eagle on their tasting bar with you tasting me.


Author Bio

RACHEL BLAUFELD is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Coming-of-Age Romance, and Sports Romance. A recent poll of her readers described her as insightful, generous, articulate, and spunky. Originally a social worker, Rachel creates broken yet redeeming characters. She’s been known to turn up the angst like cranking up the heat in the dead of winter.

A devout coffee drinker and doughnut eater, Rachel spends way too many hours in local coffee shops, downing the aforementioned goodies while she plots her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end as lusciously as her treats.

As a side note, Blaufeld, also a long-time blogger and an advocate of woman-run anything, is fearless about sharing her opinion. To her, work/life/family balance is an urban legend, but she does her best.

Rachel has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and USA Today, where she shared conversations at “In Bed with a Romance Author” and reading recommendations at “Happy Ever After.”

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two beagles. Her obsessions include running, coffee, basketball, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found courtside, tweeting about hoops as her son plays, or walking around the house wearing earplugs while her other son, the drummer, bangs away.

To connect with Rachel, she’s most active in her private reading group, The Electric Readers, where she shares insider information and intimate conversation with her readers:

Connect with Rachel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Electric Readers



Next time. If there’s always something left to look forward to, there will never be a last time.


Hosted by

Heart Eyes Press

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Friendzoned (Busy Bean #4) by Rachel Blaufeld to read and review for this tour.

A Husband for Hartwell by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry Blog Tour

Blog Tour. J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry’s A Husband for Hartwell.

He must marry, or risk his fortune.

The whole of London Society has long assumed Lord William Hartwell will marry his childhood best friend, Lady Rebecca Warrington. After two Seasons, Hartwell remains quite content with bachelorhood—his parents do not. When Hartwell learns they intend to cut his purse strings unless he makes a match this Season, he resigns himself to a marriage of convenience with Becca, and yet he can't help but be drawn to her younger brother, Warry.

He must marry, or risk his sister's ruin.

The Viscount "Warry" Warrington is used to being viewed as the tagalong little brother. Now a grown man about to enter his second Season, Warry is desperate to be seen. When Lord Balfour, a handsome older peer, takes Warry under his wing, Warry thinks his dream is finally coming true. Until Balfour reveals his true intent—to make public a letter that will destroy Becca's reputation, unless Warry agrees to marry him.

Time is running out for both of them.

When an injury forces Warry to recover at Hartwell House, the two succumb to a secret flirtation. But Warry's sudden announcement of his engagement to Balfour drives Hartwell near mad with jealousy—and right into Becca's arms. With the clock ticking for Warry to save his sister, will Hartwell discover the truth of Warry's feelings before it's too late?

A Husband for Hartwell is the first book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance.


Add to Goodreads


A Husband for Hartwell by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




Hartwell crossed an ankle over his knee. “I have a proposal. An arrangement that may benefit us both.”

Warry leaned back against the pillows but still held himself stiff.

“You may stay here until your bruises fade, and in return, you must help me learn to court your sister.”

Warry frowned. “You wish to court my sister?”

“Yes,” Hartwell said. “There is no need to sound quite so astonished about it. If she and I are to be married, then I must know her as more than simply a friend.”

“You’re not going to marry her.” It was said with a certainty that dug at Hartwell.

“Of course I am. It was all but decided before we were out of leading strings.”

Warry wrinkled his nose. “She doesn’t want to marry you.”

“She said she did yesterday.”

“She doesn’t want to marry anyone.”

“Well, she must. As must I. And so, we will marry each other. That is decided, Warry. That is not what this conversation is about.”

“It is now.”

This was the Warry Hartwell remembered—an obnoxious little pup, answering back over everything. Hartwell would have carried him outside and dunked him in a pond if he hadn’t looked so bruised and pathetic.

“I know nothing of her romantic tastes. We’ve always avoided talking of such since neither of us…” He shook his head. “Well, we have both, of late, been reminded of our duty, and we have come to an arrangement, but there is no need for that duty to be unpleasant, is there?”

The furrows in Warry’s brow seemed in danger of becoming permanent. “You believe I spend my days thinking on how to court my sister?”

Hartwell sighed impatiently. “No, but I know your sister has had admirers, and I’m certain you’ve seen her reaction to certain types of flowers or… or chocolates or sweet sayings in cards. I want you to teach me what she likes so we might present as a convincing match to Society. And more importantly, to my parents.”

He marvelled at just how simple a solution it was. It was as Becca had said: they would feign courtship in front of their parents. They would marry as friends and live their own lives. She would never hold him back from anything he wanted nor he her. He only wished he hadn’t been too pig-headed to see it that way in the first place.

“If you’re just putting on appearances,” Warry said, “surely she can pretend to like any flower.”

Hartwell struggled to keep the frustration from his voice. “Well, it’s not just pretend now, is it? I love your sister dearly. I wish her to feel I can be a husband to her as well as a friend.”

Warry’s scowl twitched into a near smile before re-etching itself firmly onto his face. “She’s going to laugh at you.”

Hartwell couldn’t hold back a snort of amusement. “Brat.” He stood, stretching, and then winced at the pop of his joints. He noted with some surprise that Warry’s gaze dropped to where the tie of Hartwell’s dressing gown had loosened. “Of course she will. But when she sees the lengths I have gone to in order to make myself a satisfactory suitor, she will be properly awed.”

Now Warry outright snickered, and Hartwell suddenly felt he could sit there all day, trying to make little Joseph Warrington laugh. He reached out to tousle the sandy hair as he had done many times before and halted as Warry flinched away. Hartwell studied the bruises again. Perhaps that was all—Warry flinched because he ached and did not want Hartwell making him ache further.

But a niggling voice in his mind said that perhaps he and Warry had never really been chums. That his only friend was Rebecca, that she was his sole safeguard against a lifetime of loneliness, and that he must now learn to love her as a wife, even though, in all his unformed daydreams, if he had ever imagined himself with someone by his side at all, it had been a man and not a woman.

“Do not laugh at me, Warry,” he said with feigned severity, which only made Warry laugh harder. Hartwell felt a rush of warmth rise up in him, both tender and acute, and for a moment he wished…

But no.

Where on earth had that thought come from?

Even if he had ever thought of Warry as anything but Becca’s younger brother, which he most certainly had not, he was an only son. And Warry was an oldest son, and wishes were for children, not for men who had a duty to their families.



It is all right to indulge in the lesser vices, Warry. A game of faro is hardly murder. It is not a sin to enjoy yourself.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

A Husband for Hartwell is the first installment of The Lords of Bucknall Club, a MM historical romance set in an alternate era where same-sex marriage was legal.

The driving force of the entire novel is miscommunication, where a single conversation would clear everything up and there would be nothing driving the plot. While I'm a fan of angst, seeking it out at every turn, A Husband for Hartwell bordered on pure frustration, because I was disappointed in the actions of one of the characters.

No doubt, I viewed the novel from a different perspective than most readers, where I didn't see Warry as a victim, nor selfless. I saw his actions worse than those we're to think were horrific from childhood, because Warry is a grown man, using his insecurity as an excuse to lie, be manipulative, steal, and cheat, where his inner monologue is all about how it is everyone else's fault.

Hartwell and Becca have been thick as thieves since birth, followed everywhere by her baby brother, Warry. They teased him relentlessly, where we're to feel as if they were bullies. But frogs do not bullies make, especially when they were just as likely to do these same antics to one another.

The reader is meant to feel sorry for Warry, to understand his animosity toward Hartwell. (I understood his animosity toward Becca. The animosity was also his issue, since he was keeping secrets from her, secrets stemming from him stealing from her, where in turn it was stolen from him, used to haunt them both later.)

But, to me, it felt as if all of this was a Warry problem, not a Hartwell or Becca problem. Warry is struggling with insecurity, so everything said around him is painted with that brush. What I saw as a gentle tease by Hartwell, showing how well he knows Warry, like an inside joke, where even his friends only saw it as a ribbing between men (a way to show affection), Warry took it as if Hartwell was bullying him but he never once said anything. God forbid Warry ever said anything to the people that mattered, instead of spilling secrets to the ones who could hurt them all. Obviously, this vulnerability makes Warry the perfect blackmail target – the personality type drives me nuts in real life too.

To be honest, I couldn't connect with Warry. I didn't feel badly for him, because I felt his actions were worse than the actions he was stuck on stemming from his sister and her could-be fiancé acting like elder siblings during childhood. Other than our villain of the tale, Warry was the only one lying, manipulating, and using emotional extortion on his friends and family. Nothing is worse than using the silent treatment as a weapon. Insecurity is not an excuse for Warry's behavior, where he told Hartwell one thing, behaved in an immoral manner, then got mad at the person he was lying to.

Where I'm supposed to see Hartwell as a bully, supposed to see this as a enemies-to-lovers type of scenario, I enjoyed Hartwell's character. He was solid, firm in his choices, and truthful. If Warry was driven to paint every scenario with his insecurity, Hartwell painted everything with a daddy issues brush, but he at least persevered to go after what he wanted and stand up to his own father. Warry continued to lie to everyone until he was caught.

A single conversation, allowing an entire family, especially the two people who have always had his back, to support him, there wouldn't have been a conflict at all.

Instead of entertained, I was frustrated, because I felt as if I was being emotionally manipulated by the authors. Warry's shown actions contradicted/conflicted with what I was being told. Stole from his sister to be vindictive, lied at every turn, gave the silent treatment, manipulated everyone, appeared unfaithful to the one he said he adored, where the authors wanted me to see him as selfless and wounded. I love angst as much as I love a flawed character, but I don't enjoy being spoon-fed how I'm to pity a character who is his sister and her best friend's actual villain.



Hartwell slid his thumb to the pulse on Warry’s wrist and pressed lightly, then leaned forward and kissed Warry’s palm.


Author Bio

J.A. Rock. Queer fiction that doesn't hold back.

J.A. ROCK is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.'s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIEFAB, and EPIC Award nominations, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Novel Award. 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Connect with J.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads



Lisa Henry. Male Male Romance.

LISA HENRY likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

Connect with Lisa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Lisa Henry's Hangout





Warry had always been a skulker. And a tattler, & a gabster, & a damn bloody nuisance.


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Gay Romance Reviews Tours & Promo

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Husband for Hartwell (The Lords of Bucknall Club #1) by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry to read and review for this tour.