Review: Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #03) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Series Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Wicked Incarceration coverIt was almost a guarantee that Wick Templeton would end up in prison one day, at least thats what the local wisdom said.  True insiders knew that if Wick Templeton is walking through the prison gates, all the inmates should run and hide for the devil’s at their door and knocking to get in.  With a wicked smile and a knowing smirk, Wick Templeton is being incarcerated.  So why is he so pleased?

It seems that inmates are disappearing only to resurface drooling at the local funny farm. Who is behind the disappearances and what could be their motive?  Wick Templeton is there to find out and if he has to become the king of the cellblock to do that, he will.  So run, you criminals, run while you can.  The most wicked of them all has been incarcerated and trouble has walked through the gates.

Wicked Incarceration, book 3 of Wicked’s Ways, has landed and my love affair with all things Wicked has deepened into addiction.  How I love this wicked, wicked man!  Once more we are thrown into the middle of an investigation of  Wick Templeton’s.  This time, it is a case of a disappearing ex boyfriend of a new client of Wick’s.  That the boyfriend turned up a drooling mess in a psychiatric ward is shock because the guy was sent off to prison and should still be there.  It makes perfect sense for Wick to investigate from inside the prison, at least that is the course that Havan Fellows takes to our absolute delight.

With delicious disregard for the bonds that rules and regulations lay on most men, Wick Templeton flows through the  prison corridors like the devil’s own enforcer, a dangerous wiseguy in orange.  As created by Havan Fellows, Wick has more hidden depths to him than the Carlsbad Caverns and navigating through to the truth about Wick Templeton can get just as tricky.   With friends and foe at his beck and call, Wick Templeton is always the dominant force in every situation, evens when it seems to be a hopeless mess.  Here is a taste of an incarcerated Wick:

He heard Banyu’s exaggerated sigh and smiled. That boy really thought he’d be able to instill proper phone etiquette in Wick.

“Hello, Wick, how are you doing today?”

“I’m in jail, how the hell am I supposed to be doing?”

Banyu laughed over the line. “You put yourself in jail. You can’t use that as an excuse for being a sourpuss.”

Wick straightened and shook his head. “I’m sorry, I thought we knew each other. Hello, my name is Wick Templeton. I’m an Aries, I enjoy long walks over fiery sandlots with broken shells cutting into my feet and smelly water creeping up to me, also putting on false happy faces when stupid people do stupid things that others consider cute. And did you just call me a puss?”

“Um…no?

Good answer. That’s Banyu, Wick’s go to IT genius. Banyu is at it again,  assisting Wick on his investigations.  Banya is another wonderful character among the small group of characters you will meet in this series that orbit around our man Wick.  Another is, of course, Ned Harris., our local law enforcement enigma who is not only hot but hot on Wick’s trail once more.  But is it Wick or the case, Ned is interested in? Wicked Incarceration brings the hint of romance or perhaps lustmance more fully into the picture here.  It’s dangerous, and incredibly sexy.  Just like the men involved.

Havan Fellows seems to specialize in questions with these characters, another of the joys of this series. We are still not sure of anyones true identity. Banyu is only heard over an earpiece. Who is Ned Harris?  Who exactly is Wick Templeton? We are never quite sure, precariously balanced as Wick is between the law and the lawless.   The author  continues to keep us guessing even as we snicker and gasp at Wick’s escapades and intrigues.  And they are many.  We know he will pull the situation together and escape but how?  And  when will Ned pop up, to mess up Wick’s plan and confound us further?  One thing I am sure of. We get a terrific little mystery and a joyfully, deliciously wicked path to journey on before the story will end.

Fellows’ narrative is an absolute treat.  It flows swiftly, even lightly through the maze she has laid out for us and her characters. There is snark, witty lines and tons of trouble on every page.  It’s just so much fun!

One more story to go, and it’s the best yet. But I truly adored Wicked Incarceration, read it twice in fact. So need a new addiction?  Something to make your heart beat faster and your brain giggle?  Meet Wick Templeton and crew in the Wicked’s Way series.  Start with Wicked Solutions, then Wicked Bindings, and then Wicked Incarceration.  You will love each and every one.  They are short in length and large in character and feel.  And you won’t ever want to put them down.  As I said, one more to go and more promised from the author.  I can’t wait.  And neither will you.

Cover art by Laura Harner does an excellent job of branding the series.  I only wish she had used elements of the old Pulp Fiction books on it as well, that was a missed opportunity here.

Here is the series in the order they were written to date:

Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Ways #01)
Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Ways #02)|
Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Ways #03)
Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Ways #04)

Review: Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #02) by Havan Fellows

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Rating:  4.75 stars out 5

Series Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Wicked BindingsWick Templeton, private investigator and all around pain in the ass, receives an email on his private account that only his friends have.  The problem?  It’s not from any of his friends, but from that enigma from his last case, Ned Harris. There is a serial killer on the loose, murdering prostitutes and both men are out to stop him.  From Ned Harris’ point of view, it’s all about procedure and legality.  For Wick Templeton?  Not so much.  Wick has always done things his way and Ned is about to find that out.  As the two mens investigations intertwine, so does their interest in each other.  Wick and Ned are playing head games with each other as the killer taunts them from behind a maze of clues.

Who will find the killer first?  Or will the killer have the last laugh and turn the tables on Wick and Ned?

Wicked Bindings is the second installment in the Wicked’s Ways series, a series that just gets better by the book.  We pick up shortly after Wicked Solutions ends.  In that story, Ned and Wick part, each thinking they got their own way in the resolution of that case.  As Ned leaves Wick’s office, Wick tells Ned:

“You have no idea what I’m capable of, Ned. Don’t begin a game you can’t finish.”

With these men, a threat is as good as a flirty come on and neither man is very good at resisting either one or each other. This is how it all starts again in Wicked Bindings:

 Wick chuckled and turned back to his computer, tuning out his overnight guests’ babblings. He brought up his private email and his curiosity piqued once more; he didn’t recognize the sender. Since he didn’t use this email for anything except his closest friends, it never received any type of spam.

The subject line contained one three letter word: tag.

And with that one word, the game is on once more.   There is an investigation into the deaths of several prostitutes that pulls both men in and now they have a murderer to catch.  And there will be a clash or two as the sexual sparks fly and their methods of investigation collide on each side of the law.

Without consciously doing so, his hand moved the mouse and his finger depressed the left button when the pointer hovered over that small word.

“Want to come out and play with me again? If you are interested you’ll have to take a turn for the worse, but remain brave and don’t worry—I’ll protect you. Ned.”

So much attitude and characterization is packed into that piece of dialog.  Havan Fellows has created two wonderful characters in Wick Templeton and Ned Harris.  These men ooze vitality and sex appeal.  They are witty with a love a gamesmanship  that they deploy at every possible moment and the reader gets to come along and experience the fun and sometimes terror.

In each new book, the author uses the interpersonal interplay between Wick and Ned to reveal more of their characters and their history.  Of the two, Ned continues to remain more of an enigma.  Wick (and the reader) is not sure exactly what branch of the government  Ned works for, and Ned continues his own personal investigation into Wick’s past and circle of friends.  Through this approach, Fellows creates a level of tension between the men is not strictly sexual.  Is Ned trustworthy?  What is his real intensions towards Wick?  Friend or foe?  As their head games continue, the murder investigation adds another layer of tension and apprehension on top of the existing doubts about each other.  It’s a delicious feeling and the reader can’t help but smile while cringing in dread as the men close in on the killer.

Havan Fellows does a tremendous job of creating a scene that contains comedy and terror, both occurring at the same time.  It’s a wonderful ploy to keep the reader engaged at  several levels.  You are laughing even as you fear for the safety of two men you have come to love.  And yes, I loved every minute of it.   I admit it.  I am addicted to Wick and his Wicked Ways.  You will be too.

These are short stories, under 50 pages or so. And while these are quick reads, they all have the feel of a much longer story.   The end is wrapped up nicely while still leaving us with a clue to the continuing growth in the relationship between Ned and Wick.  The book did not leave me wanting, while the two men made me crave so much more.  Like a certain food item, you can’t have just one.  You want more, so much more.

Havan Fellows has promised that the mysteries will continue with more of Wick and Ned past these four books.  That’s a promise to cheer about. If you are new to the series, start with the first book, Wicked Solutions and work your way forward.

Here are the books so far in the Wicked’s Ways series.  Read them in the order they were written and released in order to understand the characters and the developing relationship:

Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Way #01)

Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #02)

Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #03)

Wicked  Guidance (Wicked’s Way #04)

Cover art by Laura Harner does a good job of branding the series while losing the opportunity to make a great pulp fiction cover.

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 17th 2013 by Pulp Friction
ISBN13 HFPF000001
edition language English
series Wicked’s Ways

Review: Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Ways #1) by Havan Fellows

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Book Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Series Rating: 5  stars out of 5

Wicked Solutions coverWick Templeton is an ex cop, and a man with a plan.  Wick’s plan, as a private detective, is to take only the cases that interest him and only when he feels like making the effort. That’s what happens when an injury forces you to retire from the police force, you cop an attitude.  Although if anyone was asked, it was an attitude you always had.  When an ex boyfriend calls in need of his help, Wick decides a little wicked intervention is needed to protect the ex and solve the case.  What he doesn’t figure on is an enigma called Ned Harris.

Friend or foe? Criminal or cop?  Wick doesn’t know but he likes the way the man fills out his slacks.  But Ned the puzzle is going to have to wait because there is a crime to solve and Wick is the man to do it.

What a great story and a delicious new addiction! Havan Fellows has created an over the top private eye, Wick Templeton, in an action-packed adventure series guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as well as quite a few snorts as Wick moves through an investigation like a devil with guns, knives and sarcastic comments to spare.

In the first story of the series, Wicked Solutions, we are introduced to Wick Templeton, a man who lives his life on his own terms and no one else’s.  Here he is:

Wick Templeton had retired from the police force years ago when an injury to his left side kept a doctor from clearing him to do anything but paper pushing.

He wasn’t a paper pusher. He needed the action of the streets, his fingernails dirty to feel like he contributed. Otherwise he was mean as a bear, and not the type he preferred in his bed either.

So he made do with his own company, so he could do things his way and play by his rules. Technically he wasn’t a private investigator, though he did have his license, for legal purposes. No, he leaned more toward the title of problem solver, hence the name Wicked Solutions. Have a spouse cheating on you and require proof? Sure, he’d take the pics if his schedule permitted. Have an issue with an overly friendly person who pops up everywhere?

Wick would help out there also.

Here is a man in pure pulp fiction form and we love him for it.  Wick is smart, crafty, and dominant in every way.  Oh, and have I said sexy?  He is that too.  Wick has more layers to him than a puff pastry.  And it seems that the more Fellows reveals about him, the more we understand that what we are given is just the “tip of the iceberg” as far as his character goes.  And the mystery about Wick, and Ned, and all of the other people we meet is part of the delicious fun of this book and the series.

In each story, Wick is given a mystery to solve. In Wicked Solutions, it appears that an ex-boyfriend is being set up to take the fall for some illegal activities and needs Wick’s help to keep his job and prove his innocence.  While Wick is not eager at first to help, when he does agree, he will do so by all means, legal or not.  He has a small group of friends he trusts, including one who is an IT  wiz.  It’s such a giggle and a snort to watch as Wick goes about the business of offending and outsmarting all of those around him.  I just loved it.

Havan Fellows writing is so well done here.  The story flows smoothly, the dialog crisp and perfect for the characters, and the ending leaves one wanting more while still giving the mystery the resolution is deserves.  Just a great job all around.  There is an element of romance here but it builds slowly over the  next four books.  We see in this book only the interest between the men and the hint of what will follow.  It really works as a neat tease for the rest of the series.

At 43 pages, it is a quick read.  Far too short for my tastes because I just love this character.  But it works at 43 pages, a true complete story.  It also sets up the next book in the series, as does each book that follows.  I have to admit I read them all in one sitting, grabbing each up like a bonbon and devouring them.  You will want to as well.  But you must start with this one and get a feel for Wick and all the wonderful, snarky adventures to follow. I can’t recommend this character and this series highly enough.  You are going to love him too!

Wicked’s Ways series:

Wicked Solutions

Wicked Bindings

Wicked Incarceration

Wicked Guidance

Cover art by Laura Harner.  The design works to brand the series but I wish it had been a little more “pulp fiction” in design.

Book Details:

ebook, 43 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ISBN13 9781937252342
edition language English
series Wicked’s Ways

Review of Word Play – A Story Orgy Anthology

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Rating: 4 stars

Word Play is the first collection by a wonderful group of authors who post serial stories under the collective name Story Orgy.  Lee Brazil, Em Woods, J. R. Boyd, Havan Fellows, and Hank Edwards give us novella length stories of love and relationships from the first throes of passion and discovery to an old loves lost and then renewed.

Harper’s Discovery by Em Woods is the story of Harper Evans journey from betrayed boyfriend to a man happy with a new love and  new life as Pitt’s sub with some remarkable stops along the way.

Wicked Reflections by Hank Edwards is a supernatural mystery story that will keep you on edge even as our hero finds time for romance.

Harlan’s Ryde by Havan Fellows brings us the story of Ryder and Harlan’s last chance at love after Ryder threw it away in a moment of insecurity and self destruction.

Off The Beaten Path by J. R. Boyd shows us best friends Mitch Sterling and Colby Merritt on a jaunt in the country that brings them revelations about their  relationship and their sexuality.

The Park At Sunrise by Lee Brazil is a heart wrenching story of love lost and those left behind.  What happens when a threesome is reduced to two? Can a love survive the loss of a partner?

This is a remarkable collection of stories by a group of authors I have come to admire.  Their Story Orgy Mondays was my first introduction to all of them.  I eagerly awaited for Monday to come around so I could see a new installment on stories I was following from each author as they linked  all their stories together.  Follow one, follow them all.  So imagine my joy when I found out that they were publishing their stories in one volume (now several) so I could have them at my finger tips at a moments notice.  And what a diverse group of stories these are.  A real smorgasbord of love from every angle and a couple of kinks.  And while I enjoyed them all, I will admit to having some favorites.

Harper’s Discovery by Em Woods introduces us to Harper Evans just as he is dumping his cheating boyfriend, a long overdue event as far as Pitt Mullen is concerned.  Pitts has been waiting for Harper to get up his resolve and get rid of someone not worthy of him.  Of course, Pitt is ready to step in and make Harper his own in every way, including being the submissive to his Dom.  As someone not in the lifestyle, I have no idea whether their D/s relationship is accurate but I do know that the men come across as real people trying to find a base upon which to build a mutually satisfactory relationship, one that includes love and respect.  Add to this a side story involving a young man in need of a kidney transplant and you have a story you will love even if D/s is not your typical read.

Wicked Reflections by Hank Edwards was one story that should not be read at bedtime.  He kept me up all night with nightmares reliving scenes from this book.  When Kirk Stanford moves into his new house, the real estate agent had left some things out before selling the house to Kirk, including the fact that the previous owner was murdered upstairs in the master bathroom.  Now ghostly warnings appear written on the steamed surface of the mirror in the bathroom.  And different men start to enter Kirk’s life from Alan, his new neighbor next door, Lance Hawthorne, a detective looking into the death of the previous owner, and Damon Swain, a local librarian helping Kirk research his new residence.  Little by little, scene by scene Hank Edwards starts ramping up the anxiety level of the reader as more facts are revealed about Kirk’s new house, as more warnings are left by the ghost, and everyone becomes a possible suspect.  Like Kirk, you have no idea who to trust, and who will turn out to be the bad guy.  And those last pages? Had me biting my nails and making sure my doors and windows were locked. Edwards keeps all the balls up in the air as he juggles his thriller scenario with hot sexy scenes between Kirk and his new acquaintenances.  Kirk is a bit of a slut which just gives us another dimension to his character.  You will love this story, the plot will make you scream.  Just read it during the daylight hours, ok?

Harlan’s Ryde by Havan Fellows.  OK, I just loved this story.  It has it all.  Humor, great characterizations and two great sequels.  This is the first in the Synchronous Seductions Trilogy.  Read my review of all three here.

Off The Beaten Path by J. R. Boyd is a wonderful story of two friends and business partners realizing that they have come to mean much more to each other than they have admitted to.  One day Colby Merritt and Mitch Sterling take a drive to scope out new projects/jobs for their landscaping business.  Friends for 24 years, a chance dip in a pond on a hot Texas day gives Colby the opportunity to show Mitch how he has always felt about him and what better time than when both are half naked and dripping wet.  Boyd’s vivid descriptions makes us feel that hot Texas heat and the delights of a summer pond.  Then give us two old friends who have buried their attraction to each other in the name of that friendship and the moment explodes with sexual fireworks and revelations of long hidden sexuality.  Did I say hot?  Hot on every level.  A coming out story done with humor and heat, what’s not to love?

The Park At Sunset by Lee Brazil.  Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking, but in a wonderful way.  This story will resonate with anyone with a lost love in their past.  Thirty two year old Morgan shows up at the bench by the beach and is overwhelmed by memories of a love he had lost.  Joining him is Jason, an artist and his former lover.  Jason sent Mason a painting that has brought them back together after a long separation.  The cause? The death of their lover, Paul.  They were once of happy threesome but the loss of one has meant the loss of all.  Now sitting on a bench on a beach full of memories, they relive their past, examine their present lives in hopes of finding a way back to each other.  Brazil makes their pain palpable, their loss of  Paul and each other gut wrenching as their emotions flow and the memories of what was lost comes back.  These men touch us in every way.  We identify with them and their have our complete empathy.  And when the story comes to an end, you will be smiling through tears at a love reclaimed.

Don’t pass this anthology by.  If you are unfamiliar with these authors, it is a great introduction.  If you love their works, read these stories and remember why.

Cover artist Victoria Miller has created a hot sexy cover for Word Play.  Great design with easily read fonts. Great job.

Available through Breathless Press , Amazon, and All Romance eBooks.