Series: Wicked & Devoted #5
on March 15, 2022
FINAL DECISION: I really loved the relationship between Trees and Laila in this one (although I found the sexual assault victim portrayal less than convincing). There is a lot of suspicion in this one, but Laila is a survivor and fighter, which I enjoyed more than other women in this series. As this book ends on a cliffhanger, my final decision really rests on how the second book ends.
THE STORY: Forest “Trees” Scott is a tech wizard and new employee at EM Security who is tasked to watch over Laila Torres and protect her from the men searching for her and her sister. Laila has been in a brutal situation for years and knows that men are nothing but takers. She is also determined to escape from him and get to her sister because she doesn’t trust Trees or anyone. The two are at odds, but also there is a hot attraction between them despite what either wants.
OPINION: This story is intense. Trees is protecting Laila from the cartel that is looking for her. At the same time, she is trying to escape and forge her own path. Trees is definitely a good match for Laila. He is the kind of guy people trust with people and things important to them. He understands Laila’s problems even as he pushes her. But he always understands what “no” means.
The action and pacing of this book was really good, and I kept turning pages to find out what happened. I have read the previous books in this series and this book covers the entirety of the two books in Tessa and Zy’s story so things seem to go so much faster. That kept the story moving quickly and because I knew part of the story (dealing with Zy and Tessa) it allowed me to focus on the emotional connection between Laila and Trees which grows as the book progresses.
The only thing I am not sure about the dealing with Laila’s severe sexual abuse in this book. The subject just seems so serious, and I sometimes felt that it was a plot device rather than a real character issue for Laila. However, I’m not willing to make a final decision on the issue because things become more emotionally compelling towards the end of this book. The conclusion of the cliffhanger might move this storyline forward.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book is part one of the romance between Trees and Laila. It ends on a cliffhanger and is meant to read in combination with the second book in the series WICKED AND FOREVER.
CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED AS SEDUCTION is the fifth book in the Wicked & Devoted series. This book is Part 1 of the romance between Trees and Laila. This book can be read apart from the series; although there is an ongoing story this book overlaps with the others in the series, and thus a reader can start here.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.