Review: Wicked as Lies

Review: Wicked as LiesWicked as Lies (Zyron & Tessa, #1; Wicked & Devoted, #3) by Shayla Black
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on February 9, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION:  Despite the book ending on a cliffhanger, I enjoyed this book tremendously. From the beginning, I quickly loved the relationship between Tessa and Zy. A combination of angst and slow burn and mystery and suspense, this book sets up for (hopefully) a great ending in the next book of this duet.

THE STORY: Chase Garrett aka Zyron is attracted to Tessa Lawrence from the first time he sees a photograph of her. Unfortunately, they work for the same company and there is a non-fraternization clause in their contracts that forbids any relationship between them. When she is threatened by her ex, the fiercely protective Zy is going to care for her when he is assigned as her temporary bodyguard. Things are hot between these two even as they both fight what seems inevitable.

OPINION: This book captured my attention from the first page. The structure does well to soften my resistance to the cliffhanger in the story. The complete and utter commitment that Zy has towards Tessa from the beginning made the semi-contrived plot device keeping them apart tolerable. Zy and Tessa are a great couple. The heat between them kept me on edge as I saw them move towards one another. The suspense story searching for the mole kept the plot moving even as Zy and Tessa are in the slow burn, relationship-building stage of the story. I look forward to the conclusion of the story in the next book.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is PART 1 of the complete story. Readers who don’t like multi-part books that require the reading of the second part should wait for the second book to arrive. The book makes it clear on its cover and in its title/description that this is the first part of this couple’s story.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED AS LIES is the third book in the Wicked & Devoted series. It is not necessary to read the first two books in the series in order to read this one.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received a pre-release ARC to assist in preparing this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own. I purchased a copy of this book after its release.

 

four-half-stars

Review: Wicked Ever After

Review: Wicked Ever AfterWicked Ever After (One-Mile and Brea, part two) (Wicked & Devoted #2) by Shayla Black
Series: Wicked & Devoted #2
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on April 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Loved this conclusion to Brea and (Pierce) One-Mile’s story. I worried that the first book raised expectations that wouldn’t be met in the finale, but this one was great and hit all the right notes — passion, angst, drama, romance, action and plenty of sexy times.

THE STORY: At the end of the first part of Brea and One-Mile’s story, the two have fallen in love, but One-Mile’s job is dangerous and the people he interact with a threat to Brea. At the same time, Brea is uncertain about One-Mile’s feelings and intentions. Misunderstandings abound as these two try and navigate their emotions amid the expectations of those around them.

OPINION: This second part of Brea and One-Mile’s story begins with a misunderstanding which sets up the conflict in the story as the players react and set up new situations that the characters need to navigate. I’m not a real fan of misunderstanding conflicts — especially because this misunderstanding seems to easy to fix. But thankfully, the misunderstanding is resolved and the characters go on to resolve the problem situations they find themselves in.

The story goes really fast and the pacing just compels the readers to gobble the book up quickly.

One thing I really liked is how Pierce is such a tough guy but who is sensitive and haunted by his past. He doesn’t really believe that he is good enough for Brea. He has masked his insecurities and self-loathing by his outer toughness and anti-social rudeness. I really love when an alpha hero is just completely undone by a sweet gentle heroine. I like that Brea has morals and convictions but she is not judgmental or unforgiving. She also is certainly willing to go all in when she falls in love.

The prior book had a bit more action, but this part felt more emotional.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book completes Brea and One-Mile’s story, but there is an epilogue that sets up the next book in the series. That epilogue leaves the book with a cliffhanger for the next story, but does not disturb the HEA for Brea and One-Mile.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED AFTER EVER is the second part of the story of Brea and One-Mile. The first book, WICKED AS SIN, should be read first. This book also overlaps in time with DEVOTED TO PLEASURE but that book doesn’t have to be read to enjoy this one.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Wicked as Sin

Review: Wicked as SinWicked as Sin: One-Mile & Brea, Part One (Wicked & Devoted, #1) by Shayla Black
Series: Wicked & Devoted #1
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on March 3, 2020
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Loved this story. One-Mile ended up being much more of a marshmallow than I expected about Brea. The story felt really classic and was eminently enjoyable because of that. My only negative is that the book is only part 1 and I’ve been burned by these split stories before. But I can’t wait to read the conclusion.

THE STORY: Brea Bell is warned to stay away from Pierce Walker (aka One-Mile). But the attraction between the virginal preacher’s daughter and the dangerous sniper is hot and immediate. When Brea ends up coming to One-Mile for help, things explode with far reaching consequences.

OPINION: This was a story that I was highly anticipated. I really loved this couple together. The story was hot and yet there was a definite sweetness between this couple that I didn’t expect. I got immediately engrossed in this book and read it quickly in one sitting.

Brea and Pierce are adorable. He’s an alpha who can’t imagine his feelings for the Brea and yet can’t stay away from her. Brea is a woman of values but she doesn’t judge or shame other people. I really liked that about her. I also liked that she recognizes her own faults. The heat and the passion between these two was obvious and I thought their connection worked really well.

The only negative for me is the cliffhanger. I wasn’t angry or annoyed because it is clear from the cover of the book that this is a part 1 of the story. I think my trepidation is because I have over the recent years read some really fantastic beginnings of stories that I was deeply disappointed in the ending. None of those books were by Shayla Black, but I’m still wary. I hope that I will be pleasantly surprised in the end.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is NOT the complete story of this couple. It is part one. There is a part two that will be the conclusion.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED AS SIN is the first book in the Wicked & Devoted series. The Wicked & Devoted series is a spin-off of the Wicked Lovers series and the Devoted Lovers series. It is not necessary to have read any book in the prior series to read this one. I have not read the Wicked Lovers series at all and didn’t have any problem understanding the various characters and conflicts.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via the author’s Facebook group. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own. I also purchased a copy of this book once it became available to the public.

four-half-stars