Book Reviews, Dark Romance, LGBTQA+, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Wicked Trials by Elena Lawson

Wicked Trials; Boys of Briar Hall #2 
(#2 within a series)

Publication Date: November 19, 2021

Genre/Tropes: New Adult/Reverse Harem/Gang/Dark Romance

Author: Elena Lawson

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



Wicked Trials had my heart racing, my mind whirling, and my blood pumping the entire time.

This is book two and it begins right where Crooked Crows left off. This book never pauses. Not once. And it made me wonder how the four of them are still standing because my heart never stopped racing while I was reading it.

I hate phrasing it with, this is not your typical reverse harem, because yes, Ava Jane does have a relationship with each of the main characters making this very much a reverse harem, but it is different in how she forms those relationships and in the time she spends with each person. Rook, Grey and Corvus didn’t set out looking for a girl to share, it just sort of happened organically along the dark path they are all on.

While they are all attracted to Ava Jane, they are also all pulled to something different that lives within her too. It is truly what makes this book interesting, her individual relationships with each guy. They each get time with her, but aren’t possessive about it with each other. Ava Jane has such a strong pull to each one, as much as she tries to resist it, but it’s a pull that is unique and individual as they each are. I really like that about this story.

While the band of brothers between Rook, Grey, and Corvus, is strong their broken backgrounds are also what binds them to to Ava Jane. She is also what could ultimately destroy them. She may be currently going through the trials to become one of them, but it was never her ultimate goal. Ava Jane is a power of her own and each guy, as they spend more time with her, recognize the bada$$ that is Ava Jane. She is no damsel in distress waiting to be rescued, she will rescue herself and either kill anyone near her or perhaps save their sorry butt as well. It’s a toss up when she has her knives strapped to her.

We learn a lot more about Rook, Grey, and Corvus, their backstories along with some of the mystery surrounding what they currently do. This also means Ava Jane risks getting more attached to these three as well. Something she didn’t want to do when she agreed to taking down the organization. Ultimately, the big question becomes, will she make it out alive and with her heart still in tact?

Wicked Trials ends on a cliffhanger and I can hardly wait to find out what’s in store for everyone.


This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to glide through senior year unnoticed and ride into the sunset on the back of my aunt’s inflated bank account. I was supposed to be in control.

Now they are.

The trials will last 60 days. They can happen anytime, anyplace, and anyone or anything is fair game. I won’t see them coming. I’ll need to be ready at all times. Prepared to fight, to steal, to save, and to kill at Diesel St. Crow’s command.

While I sit on standby, he’s ordered his sons to keep an eye on me, and they’ve become my own personal wardens.

Corvus, Rook, and Grey. Their watchful stares will make destroying them from the inside harder than I planned for.

But as truths are dragged out of the shadows and new dangers emerge, I may be forced to accept that they are more than armed roadblocks in my path. They might also be my only hope of survival.

Wicked Trials is a full-length dark enemies-to-lovers reverse harem romance, meaning the main character will have more than one love interest. It is book two in the Boys of Briar Hall series and should be read after Crooked Crows.

Warning: This is a dark gang romance. It contains foul language, explicit sexual content, graphic depictions of gang violence, dubcon, and jealous/possessive themes. Recommended for readers aged eighteen and up. Please read responsibly.

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Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Wanting You Close by Kennedy Fox

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Wanting You Close; Lawton Ridge #6, Archer & Everleigh #2 
(#2 within a duet, #6 within a series)

Publication Date: November 16, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Duet/Roommates to Lovers/Small Town Romance

Author: Kennedy Fox

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



A perfect blend of sweet and sassy mixed with good ol’ down and dirty. Wanting You Close was the perfect ending to the overall Lawton Ridge series while still allowing Archer and Everleigh time to have their moment in the spotlight.

From the very beginning Archer and Everleigh’s chemistry was off the charts making their love firey and bold. They’ve completed one another on every level which made them a total joy to read.

Even though both of these characters had a past that was creeping in and trying to steal their happiness, neither of them allowed it to snuff out their joy. I loved that they continued to live in the moment and took charge of their surroundings instead of cowering in fear.

Everleigh is the absolute best and I love her take charge attitude in all situations. Because of her personality she not only allowed for free dialogue, which in turn came open communication (whether it’s with her employees, friends, or in her love life) her frank personality in or out of the bedroom allows for a very healthy relationship. She is extremely likable and Everleigh is by far one of my favorite all time book heroines.

If I already didn’t want to move down to Lawton Ridge for Everleigh’s friendship, I’d want to move there for all the eye candy. Archer is not only super sweet and loving, but yummy to gawk at too. All these southern men are lucky in love and this series couldn’t have wrapped up any better.

This is the second half of a book duet and shouldn’t be read as a standalone. It picks up right after the first part. While each book duet in the series does stand on its own, I’d also say that as a reader and fan of the series it is more enjoyable to read them all together and in order since the characters do live in a small town and are all connected. That is, however, my personal opinion.


Book 2 in the Archer & Everleigh duet
The final conclusion to the Archer & Everleigh duet and final book in the Lawton Ridge duet series!

Archer and Everleigh’s happily ever after is so close, they can taste it, but their pasts may be what comes between them. How will they overcome it?
I never imagined my new roommate would be the man I’d actually fall for. Though I don’t get close to the people I sleep with, he’s been my exception. Archer acts emotionally unavailable while he focuses on starting over, but our connection is too strong to ignore.

He’s rugged on the outside and sweet on the inside—the opposite of my usual type. I see the way his eyes gaze up and down my body, making it harder to keep my feelings in check. Knocking down his walls is no easy task, especially with my brother interfering, but I refuse to give up.

When lines are crossed and emotions bubble over, trouble finds us. We both have pasts that have leaked into our present—now I’m scared it’ll destroy the one secret we’ve been keeping.

WANTING YOU CLOSE is book 2 in the Archer & Everleigh duet and must be read in order.

Block 9th

These books are all read best in order, but you can read the duets as stand-alones too.
Tyler & Gemma duet
a second chance, best friend’s brother romance
Noah & Katie duet
a single mom, childhood friends to lovers romance
Archer & Everleigh duet
an opposites attract, brother’s best friend,
roommates to lovers romance
…with all the small town feels!
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Find more of my reviews on Amazon under Kayreader
on Goodreads under Kay Daniels Romance

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