Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Nights by Jill Sanders

An adult summer camp heats up quickly in this simmering romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Sanders.

Zoey Rowlett knows putting her savings into a run-down summer camp is risky. But River Camp has sentimental value—it’s where she met her best friends and coinvestors. Their plan is to turn the Florida camp into a sexy retreat for wealthy snowbirds looking for love, and if Zoey finds love, too, that would be just fine.

Dylan Rhodes and his brothers are on a secret mission to find their father. He’s absconded with a large sum of money, and Dylan thinks he might be buzzing around this wild new summer camp. Hoping for answers, Dylan takes a job at the camp. But every time he sees Zoey, he forgets what he’s looking for.

Zoey and Dylan have a lot on their plates already, but all they want to do is devour each other. Can Dylan keep his eyes off Zoey’s bikini and stay focused? And can Zoey keep her hands off Dylan long enough to run the camp?

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a perfect summer read. A reinvented Florida summer camp provides a beautiful background for a story about the Wildflowers, a group of women who became lifelong best friends when they met at summer camp as children. The five Wildflowers are resilient, and this first book follows their first efforts to build a business they can all be proud of.

The first story focuses on Zoey. Zoey is the athlete, the tomboy whose difficult childhood has left her unable to trust. Adult Zoey is strong and full of grit and determination. As the oldest sister, she feels responsible for her sister and her mum. I love the way Zoey’s confidence improves as the camp starts to take shape and I love the way she makes Dylan work for her attention.

Dylan is a bit of a mystery. He and his brothers are a bit too good to be true and while we get hints about his identity and his reasons for wanting to work at a summer camp, we don’t know too much about Dylan until the end of the story. Like Zoey, I was slightly wary of Dylan, but I couldn’t help liking him. He’s gorgeous and charming and a worthy leading man.

I love the mix of humour and adventure in this story. The first campers are an interesting bunch and the Wildflowers’ responses to their unexpected activities kept making me laugh. A central mystery unfolds in this first book and I’m guessing it will continue over the series. I love the unlikely mix of women in the Wildflowers and I love the sense of enduring sisterhood they share. The romance between Zoey and Dylan is a relatively small part of the story and I really love the way this book introduces a wonderful mix of characters and relationships that I’m sure will be explored throughout the series. This is a perfect nostalgic summer holiday read and I can imagine it would be best enjoyed in a quiet place on a warm summer evening.

This is the first book in a new series, and I am already looking forward to the future books being released! Introducing us to the five women from when they first meet at summer camp, then jumping to now, as they start to run the resort for adults, gives us a very intimate view of them all, but leaves plenty to be revealed organically through the story.

Whilst this book concentrates on ex-Olympic athlete, Zoey, we get some interesting insight into each of the Wildflowers as they take their roles in the camp. Zoey is immediately attracted to Dylan, one of three brothers who have joined the camp team. She and her sister did not have an easy childhood, thanks to a father who walked away and left them destitute. This has left her very skeptical about love, and not trusting of men – Dylan realises how deep that fear is, and as he starts to fall for her, he has to balance the need to be honest and open with her, and keeping his identity and reason for being at the camp secret. I think that the writing does this beautifully, and I love that he is true to himself, and commits himself to what he hopes is his future, rather than risking losing Zoey and the chance of love.

The camp residents provide us with some lovely humour, especially the Youngs 😉. Some of the staff provide some drama, and when Zoey and Scarlett's mother moves in and clearly has a potential suitor, we even get a hint of at least a happy for now (HFN) in the pipeline.

There is even a mystery that will need solving, and I hope as the stories move forward, we will understand how Leo ties the brothers and the Wildflowers together. There is plenty of potential for more romance at River Camp.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars

The characters are well written but I wish the author had explored the relationships between the Wildflowers a little more. I know that this book is world-building, but I think the relationships between each of the women is just as important as the building of the camp.

We get to know Zoey, and her feelings of failure after injuring her knee and being unable to play in the Olympics. She knows that her career is over and no amount of complaining will change that. She regrets not being able to live her dream, but watching her friends is almost as good.

As the grand opening of the camp nears, they are still hiring staff, so imagine her surprise when three handsome men show up looking for work. She instinctively knows that there is more to the story, but they need help and the background check comes back clean.

Dylan is there to find out the truth about his father, where he is, and where is the money he took from the bank. Granted, it is his father's money, but that money is used to fund the new growth for investment partnership he is the CEO of. With his father missing, it won't be long before the board elects a new CEO.

Zoey keeps her eye on Dylan and knows that there is more he's not telling, she bides her time. Dylan comes to realized that the Wildflowers don't have any idea of where his father is at.

The secrets the Dylan and his brothers are harboring could wind up damaging any relationship he may have with Zoey.

Jill Sanders is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pride Series, Secret Series, West Series, Grayton Series, Lucky Series, and Silver Cove romance novels. She continues to lure new readers in with her sweet and sexy stories. Her books are available in every English-speaking country and in audiobooks and have been translated into several languages.

Born as an identical twin to a large family, Sanders was raised in the Pacific Northwest and later relocated to Colorado for college and a successful IT career before discovering her talent as a writer. She now makes her home along the Emerald Coast in Florida, where she enjoys the beach, hiking, swimming, wine tasting, and—of course—writing.

Connect with Jill

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Montlake –

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Summer Nights (Wildflowers #1) by Jill Sanders to read and review.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright

Return to the sensual and feral stirrings of the Phoenix Pack as a woman who’s already bound to one man is tempted by a wolf who’s bound only to his nightly desires.

Cat shifter Mila Devereaux can’t help but see it as a betrayal. That her one true mate imprinted himself on another female was hard enough to accept. Struggling to be at peace with her loveless fate, she doesn’t fight the suggestion of entering an arranged mating. Then she meets Dominic, a pack enforcer with a notorious reputation. It’s in his very scent. This irresistible playboy—and delicious badass wolf—is making Mila’s fantasies come alive again.

Alarming, compelling, and heady with sensual energy, Dominic is an expert at making women shed their inhibitions. Now everything about him—his killer smile, his perfectly sculpted body, and his smooth-as-honey voice—is drawing in a captivating new catch. But for the first time in his life, Dominic is feeling more than a fling. He finds himself tantalized by a female who makes him think of forever. He wants all of Mila and won’t be satisfied until he has it.

As the passion grows wild, so does the risk. They’re falling in love in the shadows and secrets of their pasts. And it’s threatening to destroy everything Mila and Dominic are fighting for. And are destined for.

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Book 8
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve delved into the world of shifters, but Suzanne Wright always knows exactly how to draw me back in! I’ve read most of the books in Wright’s Phoenix Pack series and Mercury Pack series (a spin-off series), which all can be read as a standalone if need be, but I think the story flows best when read in order. Both series have a lot of characters that often make crossover appearances, which I always love to see what the rest of the pack is up to! Also, I am always so impressed with the variety of shifters Wright has cleverly weaved in throughout these two series and on occasion, I have done a google image search because I’ve never heard of them, such as a Pallas and margay cat.

Dominic is a pack enforcer for the Phoenix pack and a notorious playboy that never had any desire to settle down. But when he meets Mila, a Pallas cat shifter, everything begins to change for him.

I’ve been waiting for Dominic’s story forever and was so excited for Untamed Delights. This is one wolf shifter’s story I couldn’t wait to get my hands on! Dominic has long been one of my favorite character throughout this series and I’m so excited for him to finally get his story told. Plus, I kinda really adored the fact that Mila had already met her mate and this wasn’t a typical true mate kind of story. Also, I just really appreciated Mila and how fierce she could be!

Although I’m sad to see the ending of Suzanne Wright’s Phoenix Pack series, I think it was a great finish to a series full of amazing characters that I’ve grown so fond of over the years!

5 stars for Suzanne Wright’s Untamed Delights

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I've been waiting for this book for ages. Dominic. The king of the awful pick-up lines and no boundaries.

Dominic's early life wasn't easy and sometimes you have to wonder if his life didn't get better after his mother left and his father died. Then the unrealistic expectations placed on him by his parents were no longer there and he could just be Dominic. It did have a lasting effect on him, which fueled his reluctance to commit.

Mila wants love, mating, and kits, and everything that goes with it. Unfortunately, when she meets her true mate, he's already imprinted on someone else. To make it even more awkward, it's her cousin. Her cat isn't happy with either of them, so Mila is considering moving to Russia to be with her mother's family.

But then Dominic walks into a bar where Mila happens to be singing. There's something about her that calls to Dominic. His wolf recognizes the pain in her eyes. Mila's cat is not as angry at Dom as she has been with most people of late.

When Mila comes under attack, Dominic takes it personally and does his best to protect Mila while giving her and her cat room to be independent. It's no small task, but Mila's cat is amazed at Dominic's ability to stand back and watch them work.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the series. I can't wait to see more of the Pallas Cats.

Suzanne Wright can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating characters and telling their tales. Even as a child in England, she loved writing poems, plays, and stories. As an adult, Wright is the author of the novel From Rags, the Deep in Your Veins novels, the Dark in You series, and the Phoenix Pack series. Lure of Oblivion is the third novel in her Mercury Pack series. Wright, who lives in Liverpool with her husband and two children, freely admits that she hates housecleaning and can’t cook... but always shares chocolate.

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Montlake –

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Untamed Delights (The Phoenix Pack #8) by Suzanne Wright to read and review.

Cold Pressed by Allison Temple Blog Tour

No strings attached is all Oliver can offer. He's hiding a broken heart that holds him back from diving into a new relationship, but he'll go on a blind date to make his family happy. Just one date, though; he doesn't have time for love to derail his plans.

Divorced and demoted to the night shift, Nick has his own problems. He's got an ex-wife who needs him and a kid with one foot in juvie. The last thing Nick needs is to butt heads—or other body parts—with a tempting hipster who wears a sad smile on their blind date.

Their chemistry can’t be denied, though, in an argument or in bed. No strings sex is uncomplicated and that's what Nick and Oliver need. But getting into bed together is one thing. Staying out of each other’s hearts soon becomes so much more complicated than either one imagined.

Cold Pressed is an 80k contemporary MM romance. It features a smoldering bisexual single dad, a broken-hearted hipster with a thing for beet juice, and a friends-with-benefits arrangement that blooms into the HEA you've been looking for.

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Book 2
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in the series. I have to admit that I have not read book one yet, but could see that I would have understood a little more of Oliver's story if I had. I am also very curious about Martin and Seb's story! That said, I found this to be a well-rounded story all on its own.

Nick is a really interesting character. Divorced from his wife, with a teenage son who is facing juvie if he doesn't calm his temper, Nick has moved them back into his house so he can help straighten things out. However, it is still not going well for his son. He and his ex-wife are clearly still friends, and I loved the point when she realises who Oliver is and admires her ex's taste in men! Due to injury, he is stuck in a job that has no excitement and working a night shift, whilst his old colleagues go out and tackle fires – yet, he is still a guy doing the best he can.

Oliver is so utterly different from Nick, successful career as a lawyer, now following a plan dreamt up with an ex-boyfriend, and not really doing all that well. His discipline keeps him at it more than anything else, although Nick provides a hope of something better. As both of them get more comfortable with each other, we get to see them in their relaxed state, and it is really lovely. You can almost feel the stress fall off them whilst they are together!

With a clever plot twist and some serious issues to resolve, this is a lovely read, with some good humour and two lead characters who are really decent guys who deserve every happiness.

Nick is working night shift as an emergency dispatcher while living in the same house with his ex-wife. Their teenage son, who has been in major trouble with the police, also lives with them. Oliver is trying to get his small business off the ground. A business he was supposed to start with his ex who up and left him just as they were about to start a new business and life in Seacroft.

Nick and Oliver are set up on a blind date, but with complicated lives they agree to be each other’s booty call and nothing else. It was easy to see right off the bat that this was never going to work. With plenty of stress in their lives and the time they spend their time together being the best part of their day, they were always going to end up more involved than they planned.

This is well-paced story between two regular, everyday guys. I wanted to find out where their lives were going to end up, how they’d end up together, and, if I’m honest, how long it was going to take Oliver to realise that his business was a dud. The complexities of their lives and difficult decisions that need to be made and the realities they have to face is what sucked me into this story. By the end of the story, I actually thought that Nick and Oliver were pretty brave, and I was so happy with the ending. I loved Cold Pressed. It was a very satisfying read for me.

This book manages to be funny, sweet, sad, and frustrating all at the same time. This is the story of the unlikely connection between a hipster, juice bar owner and a former firefighter. Aside from crazy hot chemistry, they don’t seem to have much in common until they are forced to let each other in and give an actual relationship a chance.

Yes. Oliver is just as poncey and pretentious as his business suggests. The former lawyer is quite the hipster cliché and for most of the book he doesn’t seem to realise where he’s going a bit wrong. It’s tempting to laugh at him, but I ended up cringing in sympathy instead. Because he’s nice. And well meaning. And he’s recovering from a nasty break-up. He’s easy to love but until the end of the story, I found it difficult to take him seriously. In contrast, it is impossible not to take Nick’s life seriously. After an injury as a firefighter, he’s been relegated to a low paid desk job that barely covers his bills. He’s also supporting his son and ex-wife – with his son under house arrest. It’s impossible not to love Nick and it’s impossible not to feel huge amounts of sympathy for him.

Oliver and Nick are one of the most unlikely pairings I can remember reading. And while Oliver is oblivious to his privilege and pretentions, Nick can’t ignore the differences between them. I love the chemistry that sparks from their first meeting and I love how they soften each other’s hard edges. Oliver becomes more grounded and more human and Nick slowly allows himself to have a life, one that he can both choose and enjoy.

I enjoyed this story thoroughly and I really love that Nick’s ex-wife and his son both feel like fully fleshed and very likeable characters. This is an entertaining read about two slightly older men at crossroads in their lives.

Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple to read and review for this tour.

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is possibly the strangest shifter romance I’ve encountered, and only Eli Easton’s reliably good writing prevents the story from becoming completely ridiculous. Dog shifters aren’t too much of a departure from the more common werewolf shifters, but I really struggled with the Quickened concept where dogs who are loved enough eventually wake up as humans. I’m still not convinced by the idea, but the eccentric characters and their secretive town kept me entertained and I enjoyed Tim and Lance’s relationship.

This isn’t a remotely plausible story, but it is a fun read. Characters, including Tim and Lance, are fairly simplistic and very dramatic. Readers discover Mad Creek alongside Tim, an unsuspecting human newcomer. Tim’s own life is full of drama – but he’s actually not the criminal Lance suspects he is. As town sheriff, Lance is very suspicious of the new arrival and he concocts an elaborate plan that allows him to keep a close eye on Tim.

Between Lance’s meddlesome mother, the unusual citizens of Mad Creek, and the actual criminals threatening Lance’s town, this story descends into almost farcical comedy. The romance between Lance and Tim is fairly low heat and I didn’t really get into the dog element to the romance. Moments of this book are exciting, several scenes are very funny and there are a few steamy moments. I don’t think I ever completely relaxed into the quickened dog shifter concept and I struggled with some of the dog/human elements of the romance. I like that the series concept feels completely original, but I’m not sure it works for me.

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particularly admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include Blame it on the Mistletoe, Unwrapping Hank and Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles. Her Howl at the Moon series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

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ARC Provided by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of How to Howl at the Moon (Howl at the Moon #1) by Eli Easton to read and review.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Out in the Field by Lane Hayes Release Blitz

Max Maldonado loves baseball. He knows playing first base at a private college probably won’t get him to the big leagues, but he doesn’t mind. He loves the game and his teammates. If he has to stay in the closet until he graduates, that’s okay. Baseball comes first. Relationships are complicated anyway. And after his recent messy breakup, Max prefers to keep things simple.

Phoenix Bell is a fabulous theater geek. He’s excited about his recent transfer to a new school with an elite liberal arts program. Life has been on hold for a while, but this opportunity feels like the fresh start he was hoping for when he moved to California. And the chance reunion with the hot closeted jock is an unexpected surprise. The two men have nothing in common and their timing couldn’t be worse. However, when their unconventional alliance blossoms into friendship and perhaps something more, it may be time to make some hard decisions. And perhaps risk it all... out in the field.

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Book 4
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We were quiet for a moment. We shared his drink in silence as occasional bits of conversation and laughter from the party drifted our way. We were far enough from the action that the excess noise didn’t penetrate our cocoon. Just a couple of strangers in the dark again, minus the club music and lights and unrealistic hopes from the first time. I didn’t know about Phoenix, but this felt cathartic somehow. Like a fresh start.

“What else is going on? You look sad. It’s not me, is it?” I asked with a comedic expression.

He chuckled. “No. This is nice. I just—I tend to get a little blue on the night of the final performance. The anticlimactic feeling sucks, but it’s the nature of the beast. The cycle of slowly learning lines and getting to know your castmates is followed by long rehearsals where everything starts to gel. The excitement builds before the shows and everyone gets better and better and then… boom! It’s over. All that momentum and all the joy that comes from being part of something special disappears overnight. I’m gonna wake up in the morning back at square one.”

“That’s depressing.”

“Thus the vodka.” Phoenix raised his cup and took a sip. He set it between us before flashing a lopsided smile my way. “It’s just part of the process. I’ve been doing some version of this for years. You’d think I’d be better at transitioning from high to low.”

“Hmm. It’s kinda the same in baseball. When we start in January, most of the guys are out of shape and out of sync. We have to get used to a new crew and figure out how to work together. By the time our season ends in May, we’re a well-oiled machine. I’m not always sad when it’s over. Sometimes I really need the break. But by June, I miss it. The best thing to do is to stay in the game as much as possible. Play, watch, read stats. There’s probably a theater equivalent.”

“Sure. It’s called ‘get a new part.’ I’m already memorizing the script for the spring production at the Arts Center. They’re doing Chicago. God, I love that show. So many juicy roles. ‘And all that jazz,’” he sang that last line, then took another drink and handed his cup to me for no particular reason.

I widened my legs and propped my elbows on my knees. His gaze dipped briefly to my crotch before he licked his lips and glanced away.

“Who do you want to be?” I asked. “I mean… in the play.”

“In a perfect world, I’d be Roxie. But… I have a dick, so I’ll have to audition for Billy and pretend not to be crushed when they give me the role of prison guard or mafia henchman number two.”

“Why can’t you be Billy?” I asked before draining the vodka cocktail.

“I don’t have the right look. You’d actually be a perfect Billy. Have you ever thought about acting?”

“Me?” I pointed at my chest incredulously. “Fuck, no.”

“Why so adamant? It’s fun.”

“Theater stuff just isn’t my thing. I play baseball.”

“You can’t do both?”

“Nope. Not me. And I’m not interested anyway.”

He sighed dramatically. “Well… you were a good fantasy while you lasted.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked with a faux scowl.

“Just what you think it means. I know close to nothing about you except that you’re a decent kisser and—”

“Decent?” Now the scowl was real.

“Okay, better than decent. You were amazing. A real-life Prince Charming. But we can be friends now and—”

“I don’t want to be your friend,” I intercepted.

“Why not?”

“’Cause I like you.”

“That makes no sense.”

“Yeah, it does. I—” I hesitated for half a second before crashing my mouth over his.

And damn, kissing Phoenix was better than I remembered. I caressed his jaw tenderly before tilting my head to deepen the connection. I didn’t want to overwhelm him, but damn, it took everything I had not to put my hands all over him. I licked the corner of his mouth and groaned. He tasted sweet—like cherries or something. That had to be his lip gloss, I mused before driving my tongue inside.

Phoenix didn’t seem to mind. He moaned when I cupped his neck and tilted my head slightly to soften the connection. I flicked my tongue at the corner of his mouth before biting his bottom lip and pulling away. The kiss was sweet but much too short. And yeah, I was incredibly impressed with my restraint, but I couldn’t afford to start something we’d both regret later. Phoenix wasn’t a stranger anymore. He was a fellow student who knew my biggest secret. I should have been more concerned with resetting boundaries and moving on. But it didn’t feel that simple.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the fourth in the series, and whilst you could read this as a standalone, you would miss the couple's first encounter (although it is described here too), and some of Max's back story. They are all excellent and interlink, so I would recommend them all to you.

Max is nearing the end of his college baseball career, and just wants his sexuality to stay under the radar a bit longer. Meeting Phoenix again puts a serious dent in that plan, although Nix agrees to be a no drama, on the quiet bedfellow. Whilst this may seem the ideal solution, Max recognises pretty quickly his feelings for Nix are serious, and sways from the rules by seeing him out of their apartments too. A few near misses have him panicked, but at the same time, Nix is important.

Whilst I think his fears were well explained, I was also a little surprised at the strength of them, given that his BFF/ex-lover/flatmate Christian had come out and was not suffering any backlash. And had been accepted by Max's parents too. So his fears were truly in his head, even though no evidence of problems really existed – Micah in the team may make comments, but even they did not seem to be overly serious.

I loved the interactions between the two guys – how they slipped into a warm and loving relationship, irrespective of what they labelled it. Nix is so comfortable in his skin and so patient with Max, it was just what he needed to come to his decision to be out, and to do it for himself, but with the promise of a much happier personal life.

This is a lovely series, and Max's story has added to it. Thank you, Lane Hayes.

This is a fun, sweet new adult read. It’s the story of the relationship between a college baseball star and the self-professed theatre geek he meets on a night out. Max is a closeted, singularly focused jock and Phoenix is... fabulous. It’s not a terribly original storyline but the characters are well drawn and I really enjoyed the connection between Max and Phoenix.

This is Max’s story and it took me a while to warm to him. His closeted fear doesn’t make him a great friend or love interest and it doesn’t completely make sense at this stage in the series with so many out and proud athletes around him. I loved Phoenix from the start, but we don’t get as much of Phoenix as we do Max. I like Max’s journey, his adulting and the way he grows into a decent person, but I would have liked a little bit more Phoenix to balance the story.

Like the rest of the series, this is a sexy, easy story. Pretty boys in Southern California make for great summer reads and this book is definitely a lazy beach and cocktail read. I’ve enjoyed this series from the start. The books are well written without being overly challenging or complicated.

3.5 stars

Out in the Field is the fourth installment in the Out in College series. These books can be read as standalones without issue but there is character/storyline overlap that plays out better if the series is read in order.

Max (who is still closeted) broke up with his boyfriend in the last book. His best friend, Christian, came out and is now somewhat of a celebrity on campus. Max doesn't think he'll receive the same acceptance, so he continues to live his double life. Max sees a free-spirited Phoenix, dressed as a fairy, dancing in the rain and can't do anything but stop and watch. Phoenix is clearly comfortable with his sexuality and doesn't care who sees, which Max envies.

Coming face to face with Phoenix, Max remembers spending a fantastic night dancing and kissing but never calling the next day. Can Phoenix be the one that got away and Max is getting his second chance? Will Phoenix go back into the closet and hide their relationship for Max?

Mmm… where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of this series and the angst and emotion it has. For me this one just fell short. The angst and the coming out was pretty noneventful but I needed more. I thrive on the angst, but it just wasn't there between these two characters. It was an easy, quick read that does hit the feels in some spots.

3.5 Stars

Out in the Field is the fourth installment in the Out in College series. It can be read independently of its series without too much confusion. However, I strongly recommend the series is read in order. The characters overlap, as do their struggles. The emotional payout/connection to the characters would be stronger if read in order.

Christian's ex/BFF/roomie, Max has dropped Sky and is now looking to move on with his life. Even after Christian came out (last book), Max is still uncertain about being open with his family and the team, fearing how they will treat him afterward. The driving force of the novel is keeping his sexuality a secret.

Phoenix, I believe we saw a brief glimpse of him during the last novel. Only now he is on campus, haunting Max's thoughts, making the guy fantasize of a future he's unsure he can handle. Phoenix is out and proud, not wishing to be locked back in the closet with another jock, like his boyfriends in the past.

I've enjoyed this series immensely. But for some reason, I didn't connect with this novel. I wasn't hooked. Perhaps my mood. The others in the series were a bit more angsty, the conflict presented earlier, which made the pages fly by as I wanted to know what happened next.

Out in the Field is heavy on interactions between Max and Nix – that's not a bad thing. As I was reading, it was obvious they were going to get together and stay together, without any interference. Max would come out for himself and for Nix, just by his inner monologue.

So that was my issue in a nutshell. It was light and breezy, a quick read, but with little to no conflict. The only angst/conflict didn't present itself until after the 80% mark, and it only lasted for less than five pages. All that fear over coming out was for naught, while with books in the past, there was a payout for all that buildup.

If you're looking for a few hours of escapism, where nothing is stressful, where the romance is easy and light, this novel is perfect for you. Sometimes, that's exactly what is needed to recharge.

I do believe Out in the Field fit flawlessly with the series as a whole. I just never connected with Max or Nix – that's on me. Where the portions I wished were a bit faster were drawn out, and the portions I wished were explored more were rushed.

Highly recommend this series to fans of MM romance, especially those who enjoy college-aged guys in sports, struggling to come out to their peers and family.

Also Available in the Out in College Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Out in the Deep Release Blitz and the Out in the Deep Audiobook Release Blitz.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Out in the End Zone Audiobook Release Blitz.

Book 3
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Out in the Offense Blog Tour and the Out in the Offense Audiobook Release Blitz..

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes to read and review for this tour.

All Fired Up by Morticia Knight

Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins.

The party never ends in Las Vegas, but neither does the danger. Shawn is the new foot patrol officer on the Strip and he’s ready to take on the town and keep the peace. Once he spots Trent, who is a hunky firefighter at Station 32, Shawn wonders whether he can take him on too.

Trent is dedicated to his job, built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent eyes a handsome new officer but doesn’t dare get too close. After his boyfriend’s life was snatched away in the line of fire, he couldn’t bear the agony of such a loss again.

Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in during an emergency call and he embarrasses and angers Shawn in front of their fellow officers. Too late, he realizes he’s falling for the sexy man. But has he already destroyed any chance they might have at something more?

Once they spend time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find they’re not just compatible – they’re combustible. However, right as their relationship deepens, the threat of terror escalates on the Strip. The underground vigilante group, the Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?

Publisher Note: This book has been revised and expanded from the original edition that was published under the same title at Totally Bound Publishing in September of 2014.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and the use of sex toys. It is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

Shawn is new to the Vegas strip beat. While he is excited to be with a partner who gets him, he is also not quite sure about his new crush, Trent.

Trent is a firefighter who loves his job and can't help but have a protective streak a mile wide inside of him. He isn't expecting to find someone he's interested in, but when he sees Shawn, he can't help but be attracted.

When Shawn finds himself in some tricky spots, despite being qualified and capable of getting out of them, Trent comes riding in and rescues him. With Shawn questioning whether or not his coworkers can take him seriously while he’s constantly battling being rescued, he will have to decide whether or not he should pursue a relationship with Trent, or let his crush go.

Trent is struggling with how to be in a relationship. He knows that Shawn is more than capable of handling himself, but when he sees Shawn in trouble, Trent can't help but jump to his rescue. And with the fires around Vegas heating up, Trent has to figure out who is setting them and why.

This story is a slow burn relationship that has aspects of poor communication, strange expectations, and protective streaks in both alpha males. However, they work. They complement each other and have a chemistry between them that is relatable and real. I really enjoyed watching them figure out how to make a relationship work. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I couldn’t resist the lure of a romance between a cop and a firefighter. Shawn is a beat cop and sees all sorts of crazy things working the Vegas strip. The action from Shawn and Trent’s dangerous jobs combine with their romance and relationship drama to make a good story.

Trent is overprotective of Shawn which doesn’t go over well when they both attend the same emergency and Trent oversteps his bounds and causes problems. While overprotectiveness doesn’t work in public, in private, Trent fusses over Shawn in a way that is sweet and bossy at the same time.

All Fired Up is a story where the couple goes from attracted and hot for each other to deep feelings in a flash. It didn’t bother me. This isn’t a story that takes time to develop the characters and plot. It is fast moving and for me it was a quick and entertaining read on a cold rainy Saturday.

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, doms and subs, rock stars or bikers – but they're all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms, The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey's story from Rockin' the Alternative and Dylan and Zero from Biking Bad.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of All Fired Up (Sin City Uniforms #1) by Morticia Knight to read and review.

Feel by A.M. Arthur

Single omegin Brogan Dale is jealous of the loving, stable relationships his omega friends have with their alpha mates. For years, he’s longed to find his own bondmate and create a family, but that hasn’t been in the cards. Just when he’s determined to take the first alpha who’ll provide for himself and his young son Peyton, Brogan scents him across a crowded coffee shop. Too bad his bondmate is the unstable alpha who nearly killed Brogan’s best friend last year.

Mikel Tovey is taking it one day at a time, adjusting to life on his own, away from the oppression and abuse of his cruel sire. All he wants is to complete his probation, make sure his omegin and brothers are safe, and find a way to live with all the mistakes he’s made. When he scents his omega bondmate, Mikel is initially terrified of the older omegin and his adorable toddler. But Brogan is handsome, kind, and Mikel is completely enamored of little Peyton.

With his bondmate in his sights, Brogan does everything in his power to prove Mikel can be a good alpha, a good mate, and a fantastic father to Peyton. But when Brogan’s past comes roaring into his present and puts Peyton’s future at risk, Mikel’s resolve is shaken. He wants to love and support his omega during this crisis, but he doesn’t know how. With Brogan surrounded by friends and chosen family who love him, he doesn’t need Mikel’s insecurities weighing him down, too—but Brogan has found his mate, and he isn’t letting Mikel walk away without a fight.

This time, Brogan has too much to lose…

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law—although times are changing for the better. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. This series is best read in numerical order.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Feel is the sixth installment in the Breaking Free series. This series can be read as standalones but seeing how the characters and storylines intertwine, they are better read in the order that they were written and released.

Brogan is the only single omega left from the fighting ring. He and his son, Peyton, are still living with their foster family. Brogan is eager to find a mate, regardless if it's a bondmate or not. While out with Jaysan and Morris, he scents his bondmate but unfortunately, it's the last person anyone expects.

Mikel is from Jaysan's past. He was hooking up with him for quite a while before Jaysan and Morris found each other. Mikel, while attempting to hurt himself, stabbed Jaysan, which almost killed him. Jaysan has forgiven Mikel but not everyone has. Mikel has sworn off being in a relationship. It's not something he wants, especially right now while he's still seeing a mandated therapist weekly. He knows he can't be the strong alpha that Brogan and Peyton need.

When their bond is too much to fight, Mikel and Brogan come to an understanding that they are strong for each other, something that isn't always the typical alpha/omega dynamic but it works for them.

I did enjoy Brogan and Mikel's story. They both came from broken pasts and were able to find the comfort they needed in each other. And as always, I love getting glimpses of couples past and seeing how the families all interact.

I can't wait for Claimed!!

Honestly, you have to read all the books in the series before you read this so you can understand who is who and all the backstory. Now my mistake was I read book #7 before book #6 on accident. I wasn't confused but I knew some of the things that had happened since reading book #7 first. OOPS. I will say this is probably my least favorite of all the books in the series. It just didn't feel like the book was about Brogan and Mikel. I think they somehow got lost in everything else. I couldn't really feel the connection between them and after a while I read the book to find out more about previous characters than about Brogan and Mikel.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Male Pregnancy – non-shifter
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

I have enjoyed several of the book in this series. While I don't think you necessarily have to read them in order, it does help to know how the relationship developed and continue.

This is Brogan's story. He was another victim of the omega ring. He has a son, Peyton, who is adorable in this story. It seems like Peyton can read people's feelings very well. While Brogan is happy for his fellow omegas, he is also giving up on himself ever finding his mate. That changes one day while having coffee with his friend Jaysan.

Mikel is still recovering from a traumatic childhood and early adulthood. His sire is finally in jail, but the scars, both physical and emotional, have taken their toll. Despite being so young, Mikel is worried that he will never make a good alpha because he has his father's blood in him.

This is a story about recovery, loving, and forgiving. Brogan has some hard truths in this book and while surrounded by his family, learns that he also is okay with leaning on his alpha. Mikel learns that sometimes, even with the horrible, he can deserve and be okay with his own happy ending.

This book felt a little scattered – more so than the other books. I'm not sure if it was because we were watching the issues of both characters unfold, but overall, this was not my favorite of the series, thus far. Also, it felt rushed at the end. We didn't really get to see a resolution – we were just told there was one.

I need to preface this review by stating I've handed out very few two-star ratings in the past decade. I rate books by others in their genre that I've read and rated, not all books I've read across the board. If I five-star a novel in MM romance, it's not the equivalent to a five-star in Fantasy. I don't balance genres against one another. I won't lie, I was tempted to rate this three stars to save hurt feelings, but against other three-star books I've rated in this genre, I didn't feel that was fair. This novel is rated against the others in its own series.

No, I don't believe this could be read as a standalone, simply because a new reader would have to skim 75% of the novel, maybe more, to find the plot beneath, due to the fact that the 10 previous main characters and their numerous offspring and friends/relatives/guardians photo-bombed just about every scene, to max confusion. Having read the series recently, even I was confused as to who belonged with whom once everyone was in the same location.

Feel was all over the place, seeming to want to show more of past characters and what was going on within their happily-ever-afters, than focusing on these two characters when we've yet to experience their journey.

Brogan and Mikel were shortchanged, overshadowed by the love-fest, propagation in the series. Pregnancies, births, and heats, none of which belonged to Brogan and Mikel. There were characters everywhere, at all times, the majority pregnant, to where I was wondering if I (the reader) would get any privacy from their constant invasion.

While I understand how other readers won't perceive this as I have, enjoying the nonstop cameos from books' past, it turned every scene into mass confusion for me.

I need to state, back when I first read book one, I understood the foundation and influence as to why the author created this series, with alpha, beta, and omega, and their status within society. As the series evolved, the omegas were gaining a voice, finding empowerment. Their stories were meant to inspire, as they lifted up an entire gender who was living under oppression.

There was a devolution in Feel. The focus on being happy was making babies. Not having a baby, but having MANY babies. Babies everywhere. Everyone was pregnant, just had a baby, waiting on adoption, or delivered a baby. Not one, but TWO deliveries... neither of which was Brogan.

As for the couple, their relationship revolved around coddling, cuddling, enabling, biting one's tongue, walking on eggshells, being perfectly sympathetic, conscientious, all the while acting as if the PC police would call you a bad guy if you actually spoke your mind. They never fought but once (I'll get there next), so this never-ending, saccharine love-fest was so unrealistically disingenuous, that I couldn't buy the romance, let alone their connection.

They both had heavy baggage they were carrying around, yet both behaved in a martyr, self-sacrificing way that didn't balance. I felt the therapy sessions were promising, until the couple went together. It ended up being beyond inappropriate, romantic declarations and a sexual laundry list, with them making-out on the sofa. I'd forgotten the therapist was sitting there, then the doctor spoke, and I was skeeved out.

Not a prude, but it felt like everyone, everywhere was asking each other if they were going to have sex, right down to whether to wear a condom, which meant the conversations revolved around whether or not they were going to 'seed' their mate. No sliding into it with small talk – I wondered if they had any hobbies, jobs, or lives outside of getting pregnant or raising children, which was the opposite of how empowering the series started out.

Where is Brogan's restaurant? What did Mikel truly want to do as a career? I don't know, but I do know the witness was pregnant.

The fight.

Mates. Partners. A week. It was almost a week before Brogan told Mikel something important, something so important it meant unleashing evil on the city, an evil that had already killed many, including his own parents. Then Brogan didn't even tell Mikel all of it. More like baited Mikel into being upset, then basically stormed off to go complain to all of his friends how Mikel didn't let him finish. At this point, I found Brogan to be the most illogical, irrational, childish person on the planet.

'It' happened. The heat. A day passed. They were intimate. He visited a lawyer. THEN, and only then, did he tell his partner, and he had the audacity to act as if Mikel was in the wrong. They're partners, it should be a consensus. A meeting of the minds until a compromise is found. Neither right nor wrong, but being able to voice a different perspective, to show how head-blind one can become. To help one another. Isn't that the point of having two different individuals in a partnership?

Brogan ran off to his friends, where they ALL enabled him, coddled him, and told him he was right. I flipped back, reread the fight three times (it was only like 3/4 of a page), and still didn't get where Brogan was coming from. He was so irrational, to an unhealthy degree. No one should be agreed with simply to avoid confrontation or to save face (that is how I viewed their entire relationship), Brogan needed a dose of reality. Yet again, he was coddled into kind of seeing Mikel's point-of-view by Morris, but it was still tainted by a 'you're always right, he will always be wrong, even when you're wrong and he's right' mentality. Then Mikel apologized, which felt like the victim being gaslit into thinking they were at fault.

There were too many characters on the page, to the point I couldn't keep track of them when they appeared and disappeared, only to reappear, many times over. It's hard juggling dialogue with more than three characters at a time, but when you add the cutesy toddlers joining the already involved conversations... the connection and romance between the couple was overshadowed, and the plot was buried.

Tarek was the saving's grace for me, and his narration came out of nowhere. I was involved with the mystery and how it tied all six books together, even if the threads didn't quite match up correctly. But then we got to the climax, and it was just quickly added in, a few sentences at the end, all told and never shown, so the payoff was anticlimactic and incomplete.

In the end, I feel the author was setting up a time-jump, where the kids will get books. Which, believe me, I think that refreshes a series. I hope that's what she has planned. The only issue is how this overshadowed THIS book, to where there was nothing but seeding future installments and filler from past narrators. Everything that was important was a few sentences, tucked into a series-worth of happily ever afters, shown in THIS book.

Also Available in the Breaking Free Series

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For reviews & more info, check out our Saved post.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our Seen post.

Book 3
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For reviews & more info, check out our Heard post.

Book 3.5
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For reviews & more info, check out our Stronger post.

Book 4
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For reviews & more info, check out our Found post.

Book 5
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For reviews & more info, check out our Whole post.

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments).

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Feel: An Omegaverse Story (Breaking Free #6) by A.M. Arthur to read and review.