A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Ryder Jameson and Lucien Clarke have a long and complicated love-hate past. Ryder works to conserve art and Lucien apparently steals art. When I saw these characters make a brief appearance in book one, Broken Halos, I read it first, but perhaps I shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, that story set the stage for my dislike of Ryder Jameson, the museum conservationist who is wrongly accused of the theft of artifacts at the last few museums where he’s worked. The fact is that those thefts are chiefly attributed to the man who Ryder fell for—and who happens to feel that way about him too—but Ryder always gets blamed.

Ryder wasn’t an endearing character in the first half of this book. Angry and miserable about another theft from another museum where he works, he totally blames the man he first knew as Sebastian, and has now come to find out is Lucien Clarke. A bout of angry sex with Lucien did nothing to raise Ryder in my esteem, but the author took the men much further into their current and past relationships, the childhoods that made them who they are, the men who loved and left them, and finally, finally, I saw a Ryder I could like.

Lucien was ostensibly a suave, debonair, man-of-the-word art thief—at least, that was his role. But in reality, he was a sweet man forced into the world of art theft and trying his best to find a good outcome for everyone. He apparently really cares for Ryder and we see how his story plays out in the second half. But what put me off him early in the story was his love ’em and leave ’em attitude toward Ryder. And his reactions to situations felt incongruous with his outward persona. He was a bit too “damsel in distress” at some points in the story, and I found it difficult to embrace him as a good character.

The story is outlandish and most certainly barely believable, but it’s fast-paced and interesting and by the end I felt compelled to keep turning pages so that I could see who lives and who loves by the time we reach an epilogue. Readers who enjoy lots of sex scenes, including angry sex, and those who enjoy an underlying plot of danger with their handsome, sexy men will likely really enjoy this story. 

As I said, it took me a while to warm up to the characters but when I did I really enjoyed the rest of the book. Granted I wouldn’t believe the story could actually happen, but it is definitely entertaining and kept me on my toes so I do recommend it to readers who like a sexy action adventure MM romance.

The cover by Jay Aheer is what attracted me to this book as it features two muscular, apparently naked, tattooed men curled around each other in a loving embrace. However, as I got into the story I realized that neither MC is remotely like the men on the cover so I was disappointed.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 243 pages
Published March 11th 2019 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Series Queen City Rogues #2

BLOG TOUR Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker (excerpt and giveaway)

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Wicked Games

Queen City Rogues Series, Book 2

Aimee Nicole Walker

M/M Romance/Suspense

Release Date: 03.11.19

wicked games-eBook-complete

BLURB

Ryder Jameson and Lucien Clarke have a complicated past: Ryder conserves art; Lucien steals it. Their love-hate relationship spans six years and two continents and has endured multiple heists. Hoping to restore his tarnished reputation, Ryder returns home to Cincinnati to accept a position at an acclaimed museum. When Lucien suddenly reappears in Ryder’s life, the treasure seeker hopes to nab a priceless Shang Dynasty artifact and recapture Ryder’s jilted heart.

Something more sinister than stolen art is stirring in the Queen City. Ryder and Lucien must join forces to untangle a web of secrets, lies, and treachery bigger than either of them expected. Trust won’t come easy, but they’ll need to rely on each other because pulling the wrong thread could have deadly consequences.

Is it fate that keeps bringing Ryder and Lucien together, or are they merely pawns in someone’s wicked games? Will they play for keeps this time or become collateral damage?

Wicked Games is a second-chance romance filled with passion, humor, and intrigue. It’s the second book in the Queen City Rogues series but can be read on its own. Wicked Games contains mature sexual content intended for readers 18 and older.

http://mybook.to/Wicked_Games

Wicked Games Teaser 1
Wicked Games Teaser 2

EXCERPT

Ryder said nothing else until we arrived at the hotel. “Really? You’re staying inside a museum? Talk about irony. Do you steal the towels and robes from the luxury hotels before you scurry out of town? Is your urbane polish nothing but a veneer?”
Ryder knew fully well the ways my inner beast and baser needs could make a person forget all about the polish that had initially caught their attention. I’d never felt bad about using my looks, charisma, or my body to get what I wanted until I met Ryder. Then each day became one regret after the other until my life was nothing more than a cold existence. I recognized the same loneliness when I looked into Ryder’s stunning blue eyes. I couldn’t remember a time when I hated myself more.
“Come on,” Ryder said irritably. “I have things I need to do this evening.”
Rage and lust were such a heady combination, and it was all I could do to keep from pushing Ryder up against the lift wall and giving him the reunion we both so badly wanted. I didn’t speak to him, and I kept my hands in my pockets to prevent myself from reaching for him until we arrived at my hotel room. Don’t cross the line again. You’ve caused him enough pain.
“Are we doing this or not?” Ryder challenged when my hesitance became obvious.
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Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day. I’d love to hear from you.

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