I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fascinated: The Wicked Woodleys by Jess Michaels
Series: The Wicked Woodleys #6
Published by Passionate Pen on February 7th 2017
FINAL DECISION: Michaels first m/m romance has sweet characters and enough drama to keep interest. I liked this wrap up book for the series especially because these characters are finally getting their redemption after somewhat negative histories in the series.
THE STORY: Griffin Merrick (the brother of Letty from SEDUCED) is attracted to men but keeping that information from his family. He is especially attracted to Aaron Condit, a solicitor and man of business. Aaron is one of Letty’s dearest friends despite their complicated past. Aaron was the lover of Letty’s deceased husband. He doesn’t want to do anything to hurt Letty again but he is really attracted to Griffin but is determined to keep his distance. When the two attend Letty’s house party, Griffin decides to take a chance and tell Aaron his feelings.
OPINION: This was a fine conclusion to the Wicked Woodleys series. These were characters that I liked tremendously, had great sympathy and interest in their journey and for whom I was glad to root for their happy ending. My one complaint is that the story was very short and therefore some of the complexities were too quickly resolved…but that is always a risk with novellas.
Griffin has grown and matured since the events of SEDUCED. We meet him as he knows who he is but hasn’t come out to his family. (Of course, revealing that one was gay at the time risked criminal charges). He has met Aaron while visiting places which cater to their particular interest in men. The two have a lingering attraction to one another but haven’t taken any steps to move forward. A house party with family and friends gives Griffin the opportunity to make a move on Aaron.
Aaron is still suffering from his actions in being the lover of Letty’s husband. Even though he is attracted to Griffin, he is not willing to hurt Letty again. Because of this, he resists his fascination to Griffin — for a while. I really liked these two and I worried throughout the book for their safety. The book gives a dark and pretty grim (and realistic) depiction of the challenges the two face. The fact that the two of them can manage to love one another in the face of all the threats against them demonstrated their strength and commitment to one another.
There is a nice twist at the end of the story (which I began to suspect) and which I really loved. Fans of the Wicked Woodleys series, especially SEDUCED get a nice update on the characters as well.
WORTH MENTIONING: This is a m/m romance and a short novella.
CONNECTED BOOKS: FASCINATED is the sixth book in the Wicked Woodleys series. This book can be read as a standalone although reading SEDUCED will give the background of both of the main characters (but that background is summarized here).
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.