LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(September 7, 2022)

Here are the rules:

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?

This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

This Year I Am Reading…

Sometimes Gerome Meadows longs for the excitement of the life he left behind for Witness Protection. But when he stands up to a bully in a bar to protect a homeless man, his past comes very close to home—and it’s no longer what he wants. Tucker Wells has been living in a tent, surviving with the aid of his friend Cheryl and helping her watch over her son. When he winds up on the wrong side of an argument with some dangerous people, his already difficult life is thrown into turmoil. Gerome steps in to find them a temporary apartment, and Tucker is grateful and relieved. Gerome never meant to open the door to trouble. His life and Tucker’s depend on keeping his past a mystery. But as his desire to protect develops into something deeper, he and Tucker will have to evaluate what family means—and hope that their growing feelings pass unimaginable tests.

Bookshop: US | UK
Amazon Buy Links: KindleAudiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

The Bad to be Good books piqued my interest because it gives us the lives of people under Witness Protection. Not so common topic as far as I knew, and the trilogy is so far doing a great job at it.

Just finished the second book. This was more dramatic and serious than the first. I was almost in tears, expecting tragedy! So grateful that romance always has happy endings!

Last Year I Was Reading…

Former Special Forces Green Beret, Sacha “Joker” Wilder, is well-versed on the subject of demolitions. As a silent partner of Four Kings Security, Joker spends his days working alongside his brothers-in-arms and his best boy, Chip—a bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois with sass. Years of military and private security experience have prepared Joker for almost anything, except the explosive attraction between him and Giovanni Galanos.

When Gio returns from his travels abroad, everyone is charmed by the handsome billionaire philanthropist, but in Joker’s experience, anyone who’s too good to be true usually is. Gio is hiding something, but the more time Joker spends around Gio, the more his walls start crumbling, leaving him exposed and at risk of losing his heart, something he swore he would never do. Love is for suckers, and that’s not him.

For years Gio has dedicated his life to his charity work, helping people around the globe, but when things go horribly wrong during one particular trip, Gio decides it’s time to come home for good. The desire for family, and a certain ex-Green Beret with a chip on his shoulder, has Gio eager to restart his life Stateside. For all of Sacha’s blustering and griping, no one makes Gio feel safer. If only Sacha could see how right they are for each other.

Danger lurks in the shadows as someone sets their sights on Gio, and secrets are forced into the light. If Gio and Joker are to have any kind of future together, they’ll have to face difficult truths, because where love is concerned, it’ll take more than sleight of hand to make things work.

The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: KindleAudiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Paperback | Audiobook

The gorgeous cover heightened the already sky-high expectations. This much-awaited HEA for my boy Sacha Wilder a.k.a. Joker, delivered in spades!

My 4.5-star review here.

Today we have two contemporary romance stories connected with crime. The current read is about former gangsters under Witness Protection trying to live as normally as possible. Last year’s is about an ex-special forces turned security specialist protecting a billionaire from a stalker. Both books have the presence of cute elements, children in the current, and dogs in last year’s. Brotherhood and found family are two other major themes in common.

The current book is low steam and has humor but turns serious towards the end, where a character is hospitalized. Last year’s book is consistently humorous, low-angst, and fluffy. It is also has a bigger cast and more action-oriented than the current.

The current book is Bad to be Worthy, the second installment in the Bad to be Good series. It stars Gerome Meadows, a former gangster now secretly living in Florida with his two other brothers in spirit, Richard and Terence. They have a bond forged in the meanest streets of Detroit. He witnessed a drop on the beach, grabbed the package, and secretly hid it so that bad guys don’t gain an advantage in their area. He also saw a homeless guy, Tucker Wells, unwittingly become involved and jumped in to save him

Tucker, along with his friend Cheryl and her son, Joshie, were housed and fed because there was no way the boys would leave them in the streets while Tucker was being hunted. Meanwhile, the three of them figure out how to deal with the bad guys starting to encroach on their territory and threaten to expose their identities. Gerome also found himself falling for Tucker.

The book gives an interesting picture of men willing to do bad things to protect those they love. Tucker, and especially Joshie, were effective in bringing out this side of their personality. Can’t blame them because Joshie’s a very adorable kid who almost lost his mom. His plight resonated with the three men because Gerome and Richard would have been living in the streets if not for Terence’s late mother. Now, the brothers are paying it forward. The first book was good, but this second installment was quite moving!

Sleight of Hand is the 3rd book of Kings: Wild Cards. It stars the notoriously hot-tempered Sasha ‘Joker’ Wilder, and the famous philanthropic billionaire, Giovanni Galanos. Gio pursues his Sasha with quiet but steely determination, while Joker declares he wants nothing to do with the billionaire. It didn’t stop him from jumping in as his bodyguard when Gio was being stalked.

Joker is part of the brotherhood of ex-special forces turned bodyguards. This wild child and his faithful bomb-sniffing companion, Chip, have endeared themselves to everyone, despite Joker’s combustible ways. Meanwhile, everyone adores Gio. He is sweet, generous, caring, always smiling, and genuinely enjoys helping people.

He did nothing but arguing with the man, so Joker was surprised at how much the billionaire cared for him. Also, Gio loved his dog Chip almost as much as he did. So, really, our boy stood no chance of resisting, valiant though he tried to resist. I lived for that moment when things fell into place for Joker and he realized, oh fuck, he was indeed in love! With the last person he expected to fall for. It was so damn GOOD!

Between former gangsters and ex-special forces, kindness tames the wildest hearts.

I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.

They’re not looking for love, but it catches them anyway. Can two very different men find common ground and claim a future… together?


Things I love

✓ my kid sister

✓ the no-hope dogs I rehabilitate

✓ my job as an EMT

✓ and maybe my new friend Dutch.

But Dutch isn’t gay and physical attraction isn’t something I feel often. Are these feelings real, or am I just tired of being alone?


This is all Hazel’s fault. Hazel the Hazard.

✓ Hazel made me come to first grade safety day.

✓ Hazel blurted out—loudly—about the beautiful fireman.

✓ Hazel invited the beautiful fireman over for a party.

I swear I’m not gay, but Foster Jennings is the most beautiful man I’ve ever met, outside and in.

Dutch Schumach is the single dad of a precocious daughter. He moved to Piedras wanting a better life for Hazel and himself. Things are shaping up, he’s landed a permanent job at Brooch Resort and Hazel has quit having nightmares that someone is going to steal her away.

Then everything goes sideways, Dutch’s past threatens his future and he doesn’t know where to turn.

Something is wrong, Dutch is pushing him away and won’t tell Foster why.

When Hazel goes missing Dutch can’t hide anymore, he needs his… Foster to help him get Hazel back.

#Demisexual #BiAwakening #SingleDad #FindingFamily

Book four in the West Coast Forensics series, can be read as a standalone but may be more fully enjoyed if you start with Real Trouble.

Amazon Buy Links: US | UK

I’m super curious how the prettiest and kindest man in Piedras Island finds his HEA. Who is worthy of such an angel?

What were you reading this time last year?

(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)

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