Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan Blog Tour

The Wrong Victim. Allison Brennan. HTP Books. Stories worth reading. Winter 2022 Mystery & Thriller Blog Tours.

A bomb explodes on a sunset charter cruise out of Friday Harbor at the height of tourist season and kills everyone on board. Now this fishing and boating community is in shock and asking who would commit such a heinous crime—the largest act of mass murder in the history of the San Juan Islands.

Was the explosion an act of domestic terrorism, or was one of the dead the primary target? That is the first question Special Agent Matt Costa, Detective Kara Quinn and the rest of the FBI team need to answer, but they have few clues and no witnesses.

Accused of putting profits before people after leaking fuel endangered an environmentally sensitive preserve, the West End Charter company may itself have been the target. As Matt and his team get closer to answers, they find one of their own caught in the crosshairs of a determined killer.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Quinn & Costa series!
For book one, The Third to Die, click HERE.
For book two, Tell No Lies, click HERE.


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The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)



Author Interview

Q&A with Allison Brennan

Q: What type of research do you do when thinking of and writing your novel? The Wrong Victim uses both the FBI and local police department, do you speak with individuals who actually work in these fields?

I love research. It started long before I published my first book — I read true crime, watched true crime documentaries, read about current events. Once I was published, I found experts willing to talk to me! In 2008, I participated in the FBI Citizens Academy, and to this day the Public Information Officer (now retired) is happy to answer my questions. I’ve toured Quantico, visited the morgue (twice!) and viewed an autopsy, been on several ride-alongs with local police and sheriff, and have several people across all areas of law enforcement to ask questions. In fact, my oldest daughter is now a police officer, and she’s working on getting me a ride along in a specific precinct where I plan to set a future book. She also connected me with a K-9 officer when I was writing a short story about a retired K-9.

For The Wrong Victim, I reached out to a writer friend of mine who is a retired ATF agent — he was instrumental in helping me with the explosives.

I write fiction and take a lot of liberties with the information I learn. However, I want to be as realistic as possible. To me, as long as what I’m writing is plausible, then I’ll go with it. I write to entertain first and foremost, and sometimes too many forensic details or investigative facts can slow down a story. I’m always seeking to find the right balance.

Q: How do you decide where to base your story? This book is based in the San Juan islands and I know Matt Costa’s special team travels.

The premise of the Quinn & Costa mobile response team series is that they are a well-trained group of FBI agents who travel to small, rural, and underserved communities — places where local police may not have the resources to handle a complex investigation such as a serial killer or, in the case of The Wrong Victim, an explosion. So I look for places where setting fits the story. For this book, I had the idea first — a charter boat explodes, who was the intended victim? So that told me I needed a remote, water-based community and looked on a map. The San Juan Islands immediately drew me in, and after reading about the area, I quickly made the decision. I had planned to visit before I wrote the book, but alas, 2020 was not a year for travel, and so I relied on interviews and the internet for information.

Q: Do you travel or visit the places you write about first?

If I can, but unfortunately, sometimes that isn’t possible. That’s when research and interviews come in handy!

One of my earlier books, I thought I had researched very well — even talking to people who lived in the region (Seattle) and looking extensively on maps. But I made a mistake about how to get from Point A to Point B and a reader pointed it out. Now I take much more care in making sure I get these details right if I’m writing about a place I don’t know well.

I had wanted to visit the San Juan Islands before writing The Wrong Victim — not just for the book, but because I’d always wanted to go there. Unfortunately, 2020 happened and that wasn’t possible. The book I recently finished writing, the currently untitled fourth Quinn & Costa book, takes place in the bayou in Louisiana. I’ve been to Louisiana many times, and my best friend lives there. While I created a fictional town, I drew upon my personal knowledge and the help of my bestie!

Q: How did you come up with your idea for a loaned LA officer who cannot return due to her undercover work?

When I was writing the first Quinn & Costa book, Kara Quinn — the Los Angeles detective on leave — wasn’t going to be a series character. She was going to be a catalyst of sorts for Matt Costa, the team leader. So creating her character, I thought it would be fun to have her as an undercover detective, someone has a unique skill set that would be valuable in Matt’s current investigation.

Well, by the time I finished writing the book, I knew Kara had to return. I just loved her character and felt she had the most growth to do in the series, plus would provide a different perspective to the crimes because of her background. I didn’t know even after I finished writing the book how or why she was going to be on loan to the FBI, I had to sit on that for a few days until I worked out something that made sense to me.

Q: How do you decide which books become a series versus a stand-alone story?

This is a great question!

For me, all stories — stand alone or series — start with character. Without compelling, interesting, and complex characters, the story falls flat.

In a series, the characters must be interesting enough that readers will want to revisit them and see them in different situations. This is why police procedurals and amateur sleuths truly lend themselves to series books. You like the world, the characters, how they grow over time and want to revisit them over and over and see what’s going on in that world. The same way, I think, television viewers like favorite shows. The plots are interesting and often twisty, but readers (or viewers) really return to find out what happens to the people we’ve grown to love and hate and worry about.

So when I have an idea that is predominately character based — a team of FBI agents, for example — I focus on making those people as real and authentic as possible with an eye toward how they are going to grow and develop over multiple stories. I still want to have a strong plot — so I put them in situations or solving cases that are dangerous or interesting. By the end of the book, I want my characters to learn something about the team or themselves, to grow in some way, however small it might be. I want the series books to stand alone — so new readers can find the books in the middle of the series — while also giving regular readers a character growth arc from book to book.

For a standalone, while characters are ALWAYS going to be important, they are there for one story only. They need to have a complete character arc from beginning to end so that the reader is fully satisfied at the story conclusion. Plot is important in both types of stories, but in a standalone the situation/plot provides a stronger framework and backbone than in a series. There is often a universal theme that resonates, that is in some ways bigger than the story itself. Standalones, at least for me, are about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances — so readers wouldn’t expect those characters to return in a different story.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Wrong Victim wastes no time getting to the action, and the crime that brings Kara, Matt, and the team to an island off the coast of Washington occurs at the beginning of the book. A bomb exploded on a charter boat, killing nine people but we don’t know who the intended victim was or if the bomb was set due to a vendetta again the charter company by the local environmental group. I loved following Kara and the team as they conducted interviews and followed up leads. There is a cast of potential killers as well as a cast of potential victims. I was hooked and eagerly turned the pages as I tried to work out who not only set but the bomb but why and who they intended to kill.

To go along with the murder mystery, we get little glimpses of Matt and Kara’s relationship, which isn’t on solid ground and is put in jeopardy when a member of their team works out they are having an affair and threatens to tell the powers that be at the FBI. This also potentially puts Kara’s job in jeopardy. I have to say I was surprised by this turn of events. I didn’t expect a highly respected and intelligent member of their team to be so vindictive. It adds tension on a personal level to people already under pressure to solve the crime.

The Wrong Victim is gripping from the first page to the last page. There is lots of action, danger, and the crime story is clever. Also, the budding relationship between Matt and Kara in the background was just enough to keep the romance reader in me happy. The Wrong Victim is the third book in the Quinn & Costa series and it is the best so far. I can’t wait for more.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/F Thriller

I have read all of the books in this series and while I wouldn't say that you need to read the previous books, it does help to get to know the characters.

I have enjoyed the previous books a lot. This one, however, while it was compelling, was very slow for me. I found myself wanting to skip ahead because some of the chapters were taking so long. And while I didn't skip ahead, there were several places that I could have, now that I've read the book in whole.

The mystery is fantastic, and you won't be disappointed. The interpersonal relationships were spot on too. Although at times, I wanted to slap a few characters who stuck their noses where they shouldn't be, in my opinion.

I really wanted to enjoy this book more, but I just found my mind wandering until the ending where the action really picked up. There were subtle hints throughout the story that helped me solve it before the ending, but it was still engaging and fun to see the conclusion.



Author Bio

ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels. She has been nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids and assorted pets.

Connect with Allison Brennan

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Hosted by


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Wrong Victim (Quinn & Costa #3) by Allison Brennan to read and review.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Love You Right by Julia Kent Release Blitz

Love You Right by Julia Kent.

A missed opportunity five years ago makes for an unexpected encounter now between two people meant for each other – but who square off in a very public battle of wills in the small town of Love You, Maine, where every day is Valentine's Day. Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it?

Kell Luview refuses to be a sucker at love again. Five years ago, he left D.C. with his tail between his legs and his heart broken. Fiercely protective of his small town in rural Maine, he's determined to save the family tree business and avoid his feelings at all costs, no matter how much he longs to solve the mystery of what happened in D.C.

L.A. native Rachel Hart hates being underestimated almost as much as she hates this small town. She has two goals on this trip: get out of the cheesy tourist trap of Love You, Maine with a completed business deal, and avoid running into Kell, her old friend from D.C. who never became an old flame because of a huge misunderstanding.

One that still aches.

When her rental car breaks down on a logging road and Kell comes to her rescue, it's clear he's a changed man – and not for the good. Grumpy and reserved, he pushes all her buttons, still stubbornly convinced she betrayed him all those years ago. He's never forgiven her, and she's never forgiven herself for carrying a torch for him.

An embarrassing incident gets the town gossip mill going when residents wrongly assume Kell and Rachel are the newest couple to find love in the most romantic place on Earth. But the townsfolk aren't wrong for long...

As Rachel breaks through his defenses and charms the town, he faces his biggest fear: all those pesky feelings he's been avoiding.

Because they're all about Rachel now.

And maybe they always were.

Can Kell and Rachel fight their growing attraction in the one place in the world where you can't avoid love?

If you're looking for a fun read about enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, heroines who get their comeuppance and sworn bachelors felled by unexpected true love, featuring a hot bearded lumberjack impervious to poison ivy, and a city-slicker, jaded career woman with a penchant for great coffee, set in a small town in New England – then this is your book.

Grab a cup of (properly good) coffee, a can of hot cocoa mix, a jar of Fluff and maybe some calamine lotion (just in case), and get your happymeter ready as you read the very first book in New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent's Love You, Maine series – where love isn't just a feeling – it's a way of life.


Add to Goodreads.


Love You Right by Julia Kent.

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)




“Kell,” she whispered against his mouth. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For this.” She motioned at the romantic dinner he’d created for the two of them, the wide table in this conference room an ample spread for a…

Ample spread.

“We haven’t even had dinner. Thank me after.”

She batted her eyelashes. “Is that an offer?”

“Rachel,” he said, moving his hand from her waist to cup her ass. “That’s more than an offer.”

He started to kiss her again, but she put her fingers on his lips. “If we don’t eat dinner first, we’ll never eat. And I have a meeting here in this very room, to try to pitch the deal again, in three days. Boundaries, Kell – boundaries. I refuse to have sex on this conference table.”

“The thought never, ever occurred to me,” he lied.



With a deep laugh he adored, she reached for the bottle of wine. “How about you uncork this and we start with a lovely glass.”

“Fine. The table is off the table.”



“I should have done this a long time ago.”     “Slept with me?”     “No. Believed in you.”



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I loved Kell and Rachel as BFFs in Love You Wrong and hoped that they would get together, but the betrayal Kell felt is something a person may never get over.

It has been five years since Rachel has seen Kell, and now she is headed to his hometown to try to get the chocolate company to sell. She hopes that she doesn't run into him, that would make things so bad for them both. So when her car breaks down, he is the last person she wants to see.

Kell never thought he would see Rachel again but when her car breaks down on a backwoods mountain road, he has to rescue her and the antics begin.

These two got into some sticky situations (pun intended) that all of Love You, Maine knew about in a very short time. The gossip in town can spread quicker than a wildfire. That made this story, and their antics, laugh out loud funny at times. Then you were in tears other times in the story. And don't forget that you have to wear red, white, or pink, or you get pinched.

I have read a few other stories from this author and I am really loving this series and can't wait for more.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/F Second-Chance Romance

Rachel is feeling like a failure at life recently. Now on her next assignment, she knows that it’s do or die time. Her job depends on this next assignment. When she finds herself in a quaint town that absolutely loves Valentine’s Day, she has to make sure that she can leave with her heart.

Kell is a surly man who has let his past run his future. Even though he loves his job, he knows that he helps his dad a lot with the family business too and isn’t really able to see well into his future to see how he can do both. His business is thriving, but he can’t seem to let go and do what needs to be done.

These two have a history that never is really explained well. It lacked a cohesiveness and just felt like I came into the story in the middle of an argument and didn’t know whose side to take. The characters were okay, but in all honesty, I loved Kell’s mom more than the main characters.

The main characters felt a little young adult for my taste of what this story was supposed to be about. I think that’s why I didn’t connect as well to this story. It had great potential, it just didn’t fit my particular taste for what I was expecting.



Author Bio

Bestselling New York Times and USA Today author JULIA KENT writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 1.5 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 16 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing in 2017.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire).

She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

Connect with Julia Kent

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Laugh Your Way to Love with Julia Kent



Welcome to Love You, Maine: Where every day is Valentine's Day.


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Love You Right (Love You, Maine #1) by Julia Kent to read and review.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Punching the V-Card by Leta Blake Blog Tour

Release Tour. Leta Blake’s Punching the V=Card.

Best friend’s hot older brother? Check. A weekend alone? Check.

Finally punching that V-card? Oh yes.

Carl has a pesky “innocence” problem that requires a solution. His best friend's brother Devon is the perfect answer.

Devon’s experienced, gorgeous, and Carl’s been secretly crushing on him for ages. Carl doesn’t want to “lose it” to just anybody. Everyone says the first time should be special—and what’s more special than sharing it with the guy of his dreams?

It’s not like Devon won’t enjoy it. Solving this so-called problem is an objectively fun experience for most people! The plan is totally win/win!

Shockingly, Devon agrees. But even though it goes better than either of them ever expected, Carl’s moving across the country soon. It’s not possible to have more. No matter how much they both want it.


Punching the V-Card by Leta Blake is a is a high-heat, low-angst, new adult gay romance featuring a best friend’s hot older brother, scorching first times, and falling in love with the guy of your dreams.


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Punching the V-Card by Leta Blake

Buy Links

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




“This isn’t the sort of thing you should ‘just get over with.’ It should be special.”

“I know.”

Devon frowned again. “And I don’t sleep with guys who don’t like me.”

“But I like you, Devon, enough that being with you would be special to me,” Carl said, and for the first time there was a hint of a kind of throaty desperation he’d never imagined hearing from him. “Please understand me. You have to be the one to do this for me.”

“Whatever happened to, ‘I don’t beg’ and ‘We don’t have to do this’?” Devon asked, lifting a brow. He knew he shouldn’t tease, but he couldn’t help it. He’d never seen Carl Pink even a little bit undone. And maybe, just maybe that had been a huge incentive behind him saying yes to this entire sordid plan.



Carl has a pesky “innocence” problem that requires a solution. His best friend's brother Devon is the perfect answer.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book was just odd to me. I like insta-love. I like lots of sex in my books. This book just didn't really make sense to me. Things were rushed, forced, and just plain bizarre. Everything was told from the wrong character’s point of view too. The story is about losing your virginity, it should be from the virgin’s point of view. I'm sure some will love this book, it just missed the mark for me.



Author Bio

Leta Blake. Author. Human. Working hard to become stellar at life.

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, LETA BLAKE’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Connect with Leta Blake

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Leta’s Lovelies  ~  Patreon



Best friend’s hot older brother? Check. A weekend alone? Check. Finally punching that V-card? Oh yes.


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Punching the V-Card by Leta Blake to read and review.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Gossamer in the Darkness by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour

Available Now. Ebook. Print. Audio. 1001 Dark Nights. Gossamer in the Darkness. A Fantasyland Novella. Kristen Ashley.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Fantasyland series…

Their engagement was set when they were children. Loren Copeland, the rich and handsome Marquess of Remington, would marry Maxine Dawes, the stunning daughter of the Count of Derryman. It’s a power match. The perfect alliance for each house.

However, the Count has been keeping secret a childhood injury that means Maxine can never marry. He’s done this as he searches for a miracle so this marriage can take place. He needs the influence such an alliance would give him, and he’ll stop at nothing to have it.

The time has come. There could be no more excuses. No more delays. The marriage has to happen, or the contract will be broken.

When all seems lost, the Count finds his miracle: There’s a parallel universe where his daughter has a twin. He must find her, bring her to his world and force her to make the Marquess fall in love with her.

And this, he does.

**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.**

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the Fantasyland series!
For book five, Midnight Soul, click HERE.


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Gossamer in the Darkness by Kristen Ashley

Book 5.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)




She sat across from him at his breakfast table in the conservatory, the beams of the sun gilding her hair, her face aimed to the windows, watching the birds at their bath.

He was dressed, but she was wrapped in his dressing gown. It was too big for her. But it was all they had for the now as he refused to button her into a gown she’d worn just the day before. He’d sent word to Corliss to have her maid, her apparel and her toilette directed to his townhome so she could face the day fresh, preparing to do so there.

More importantly, this also meant he got to keep her longer.

“Stop watching me,” she told the window. “It’s ridiculously romantic. I’m melting in a puddle over here.”

He grinned at his coffee cup, his attention remaining on her over the rim as he took a sip.

She turned in the midst of this, watched his actions, and her gaze heated yet again.

“You’re a walking, talking, eating, drinking-coffee, sex-god hero from a romance novel,” she groused.

“I love you think that, though I’m perplexed as to why this seems to put you in a foul mood,” he noted, returning his cup to its saucer.

“I can’t jump you over the table due to your injury, that’s why,” she explained.

He raised a brow. “Did I not prove my creativity this morning?”

“The bit where you were on your knees could have torn your stitches.”

The tone of her response communicated she was now being very serious.

“Again, darling, I’m fine,” he said in the same tone.

“How worried should I be about this bordello woman you’ve angered?” she asked.

And there it was.

“You shouldn’t worry at all.”




“I want you to have what you want.”     “I already told you that’s you.”     “You deserve better.”     “There is no one better than you.”



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is book 5.5 of the Fantasyland series, and I have a huge admission to make... I have not read this series! I cannot really explain why – and I will be remedying the situation as soon as I have the time – but there we are! Anyway, the 1001 Dark Nights series advertises itself as a treat for fans or an introduction for newcomers, and for once I am in that second category. It certainly worked for me.

I loved the world that we are in, and the rationale for how the situation can change – Loren and 'Maxine' were a huge amount of fun together, and I loved the misplaced words, and how he reacted. I was completely transported into a new world and invested in the success of the relationship in spite of the strangeness of their situation. I realised when we meet the king et al that this is a common theme, and that they realise that she is a 'twin.'

As always, Kristen Ashley makes sure that the very best outcome happens, and this time it means that Maxine's mum is in Fantasyland too – and dealing with the changes in a very amusing way, happily taking on the airs and graces of her position and getting justice for her daughter.

I am very much looking forward to getting to grips with the whole realm and how each of the couples found each other. If they are as engaging as Loren and 'Maxine,' then they will be excellent reads.

Gossamer in the Darkness by Kristen Ashley was an amazing addition to the Fantasyland series! I want to pause right there and just throw in that the Fantasyland series contains one of my favorite worlds ever created by this author. (That other fave would be Triton, the home for The Rising series). The author has created this amazing world, different lands, different people, and different just everything and it is my favorite! Whenever I'm in a book funk, I go back to these series over and over, and I still feel the same emotion I felt the first time.

The story of Maxine/Satrine and Loren Copeland is one I will remember, it is a small story compared to most Kristen Ashley books, but it is a complete story. We have parallel universes, we have conspiracies, we have political intrigue, and we have magic – this has everything to keep your interest.

Personally, I love this.

Maxine is ripped out of her world. She's brought to this parallel universe, and she can't tell anybody. She has to keep everything secret. Whereas Loren Copeland, a duke and all-around good guy, has a mystery of intrigue. You don't really know much about him, but as you get to know him, you see he's a good guy with a good heart. But darkness permeates his being.

We do get to see a bit of our old favorite characters from both series I mentioned above, which was really a nice touch.

If you haven't read either of the series, the Fantasyland series or The Rising series, you don't need to in order to enjoy this... but I highly suggest you do because they were absolutely phenomenal.

Overall, I would rate this 10 stars if I could. Like I said, it is amazing. Great romance, steamy scenes, little angst, it just it has everything, and it will entertain everyone!



"You are rocking my world, your grace."


Author Bio

KRISTEN ASHLEY is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, Kristen was a fourth generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and she now resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her writing career.

Connect with Kristen Ashley

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Kristen Ashley – Rock Chicks Group!



She’d give him anything he wished. That was who she was. He knew it to his soul. It was why he chose her. So he could give that back.

For more information about the 1,001 Dark Nights releases, follow them at:

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Website & Newsletter Sign-Up


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Gossamer in the Darkness (Fantasyland #5.5) by Kristen Ashley to read and review.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale

The Mad Girls of New York

An exciting novel based on the fearless reporter Nellie Bly, who would stop at nothing to expose injustices against women in early 19th century New York, even at the risk of her own life and freedom.

In 1887 New York City, Nellie Bly has ambitions beyond writing for the ladies pages, but all the editors on Newspaper Row think women are too emotional, respectable and delicate to do the job. But then the New York World challenges her to an assignment she'd be mad to accept and mad to refuse: go undercover as a patient at Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum for Women.

For months, rumors have been swirling about deplorable conditions at Blackwell’s, but no reporter can get in—that is, until Nellie feigns insanity, gets committed and attempts to survive ten days in the madhouse. Inside, she discovers horrors beyond comprehension. It's an investigation that could make her career—if she can get out to tell it before two rival reporters scoop her story.

From USA Today bestselling author Maya Rodale comes a rollicking historical adventure series about the outrageous intrigues and bold flirtations of the most famous female reporter—and a groundbreaking rebel—of New York City’s Gilded Age.


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The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale

Book 1
Buy Links

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Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
Berkley (PRH)




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Mad Girls of New York is the debut in a brand-new series by Maya Rodale, Nellie Bly.

To be honest, I was unaware of the Nellie Bly story until I delved into this novel. While reading, Nellie was reminiscent of Sarah Howard from The Alienist in her determination to get to the truth, while dealing with the limitations of the era for a progressive woman living in a man's world, set to the backdrop of New York City's Gilded Age.

Based on true events, this is the fictionalized account of Nellie Bly, a journalist willing to do anything necessary to get to the root of the story, depicting it as accurately as possible, even if that meant committing herself into an asylum.

The story is propelled by Nellie's struggles in Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum as her narration draws to light the atrocities her fellow women endured. I won't go into great depth, as this is truly what the story entails, and I wish readers to view it through their own eyes.

I'm thankful the heavy content wasn't made shallow by a strong romance thread, other than a hint here or there, as that is part of the human condition. The heaviness was offset with Maya Rodale's personal brand of humor, the levity much needed and appreciated. The strength of the novel is the connection between all the women, as they support one another.

Captivated from start to finish, read cover-to-cover, an intriguing take on a real-life woman's bravery, while allowing the reader to transport themselves back in time to where we can appreciate how far we have come as women, giving us the bravery to never stop making strides for equality.

The only con of the novel was the shift in points of view. I enjoyed being in Nellie's head and felt the shift to others was unnecessary. I wasn't invested in the story from their perspective, slightly annoyed to be thrust from Nellie. While I understood it on the whole at the completion of the novel, I didn't enjoy those points of view while reading.

Highly recommend to fans of the author, and I greatly anticipate more from the fictionalized journey of Nellie Bly, as well as from the engaging side characters who were introduced. However, I do wish to point out to those who are seeking historical romance, this novel is by no means a romance.



Author Bio

MAYA RODALE is the best-selling and award-winning author of funny, feminist historical fiction and romance. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. Maya has reviewed romance for NPR Books and has appeared in Bustle, Glamour, Shondaland, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, and PBS. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Maya Rodale

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads




Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Mad Girls of New York (Nellie Bly #1) by Maya Rodale to read and review.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Bachelor and the Cherry by V.L. Locey Release Blitz

Campo Royale #2. The Bachelor and the Cherry. V.L. Locey.

Is he brave enough to stop hiding behind his persona and give love one final try?

Jordan Stevens has crammed a lot of living into his fifty years. Some of those years have been good, some bad, and some he would just as soon forget. The world isn’t always kind to an aging queen. Lovers begin to scamper into forbidden fields, your padding tends to slip, and you spend more time with egg whites than most pastry chefs. Heartache is nothing new to the man who embodies the acid-tongued Sitka Patel on stage every night, which led Jordan to vow to never trust another man under eighty again. He has his club, his drag family, and his Bombay cat Heckle. Who needs the hassle? That philosophy had served him well, until a stunning young thing with dark chocolate eyes shows up at the back door of Campo Royale with a suitcase, a sad story, and a dream.

From the time he was old enough to spell the word sequin, Yampier Perez knew that someday he’d be wearing them. One of three children born to Cuban immigrants, Yampier was always a little glitzier than the other neighborhood boys. His love of fashion design and performance arts was barely tolerated at home and even less so in the hallways of his rural Georgia high school. Yet, Yampier never let his light be doused, not even the day his older brother caught him modeling his sister’s prom dress. Beaten, disowned, and on his own before graduation, he found himself having to work seedy jobs doing even seedier things, until he saved enough cash to head to the Big Apple. That money has now run out, leaving him stuck in Wilmington with no food, no place to stay, and no family. Little does he know that stumbling into the Campo Royale Club, half frozen and weak from hunger, is about to bring him everything he has yearned for.

The Bachelor and the Cherry is a gay age gap romance that features an aging drag queen, a virginal newcomer, lots of sass, wigs galore, hurt/comfort, family found, and a richly sequined happy ending.


Add to Goodreads.


The Bachelor and the Cherry by V.L. Locey

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Kobo
Paperback (US)




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in the series, and whilst you don't need to read them in order, I think that it is well worth it to get the full glitter, glamour, and grit of life for the drag queens of Campo Royale.

Owner and principal drag queen Jordan, aka Sitka Patel, is starting to feel his age, and is pretty cynical about love. But when the very beaten down Yampier seeks shelter, he cannot help but feel some stirring in his heart. The fact that the young 'guppy' has dreams of being the best drag queen of all – starting with a Dolly Parton outfit – is appealing too, but Yampier has to start as the club cleaner and work his way up.

It is a lot of fun spending time with the whole crowd in the club and getting some insight into the behind the scenes life. Jordan has his life all sorted, with the exception of love. He cares about his mother, pays his bills, and helps drags on their road to the bright lights of New York, if that is what they want.

Yampier has an indomitable spirit, and when he sees Sitka/Jordan, he is immediately attracted to her/him. He may be young, but he has always been attracted to older, wiser men. This is the chance he never thought he would get, and he plans on being the person Jordan wants and needs from now on.

I really enjoyed the innocence compared to worldly wise, the optimist to the cynic, and the passion in both of them, which made them the perfect pairing. Really enjoyable, fun, loving, and moving read.



Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author V.L. LOCEY – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Doctor Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

Connect with V.L. Locey

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Vicki’s Vixens





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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Bachelor and the Cherry (Campo Royale #2) by V.L. Locey to read and review.