Series: Queen City Rogues #2
Author: Aimee Nicole Walker
Publication Date: March 11, 2019
Length: 243 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
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 and heal his jilted heart, Ryder returns home to Cincinnati. When Lucien suddenly reappears in Ryder’s life, the ancient Shang Dynasty artifact isn’t the only prize he wants to claim.
Something more sinister than stolen art is stirring. 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 lead to their death.
Is it fate that keeps bringing Ryder and Lucky 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.
How free can you really be when one man holds a past secret over your head and uses it to keep you on a short leash, doing his bidding? For Lucien Clarke the answer looks much like a prison of sorts where he does the bidding of the man he knows as Banks and who he loathes. Twice Banks has pulled him away from the man Lucien knows he loves and both times it has nearly wrecked him and the man left behind.
Ryder Jameson loves conserving art but when items begin to mysteriously disappear every time he begins a new position with a gallery he is certain the disappearing lover that has captured his heart is to blame. It’s obvious that the man he has known only as Sebastian has something to do with the art thefts but Ryder only knows that the love he is trying to bury for the con man is still very much alive when he sees him once again six years later. This time it’s not Sebastian but Lucien who approaches Ryder, revealing both his true name and what he fears is a plot to keep he and Ryder apart. Banks is somehow behind it all but it will take an elusive Carmen Sandiego look alike to help Lucien and Ryder finally confront the man who is obsessively trying to keep Lucien away from Ryder even if it means killing him in order to ensure that happens.
Are you intrigued? I absolutely loved this second novel, Wicked Games, from Aimee Nicole Walker’s Queen City Rogues series. Definitely a standalone, this tale of intrigue and mayhem is fast paced and full of humor despite the overarching threat of danger at nearly every turn. First Ryder and Lucien, or Lucky as he is nicknamed, are just terrifically well matched both in intellect and personality. They are absolutely smitten with each other and, despite the fact that Ryder wants to hate Lucien for leaving him not once but twice, the chemistry between them is palpable. These two men really love each other but outside forces have pulled them apart time and again and forced Lucien to fade away into the proverbial night leaving Ryder heart broken and disillusioned. It’s no wonder when Lucien gets back in touch after yet another theft incriminating Ryder at his new gallery job, Ryder wants to first beat the guy senseless and then fall into bed with him.
These two have a bit of talking to do before Ryder can bring himself to trust Lucien. However, once they come to terms with the fact that it’s the man, Banks, who holds all the cards and has been controlling Lucien through blackmail, Ryder admits his love for Lucien and the two become a force to be reckoned with. From there this tumultuous romance becomes an excellent action adventure novel that slowly unfolds and the author does an incredible job keeping the storyline taut and sharp. With a fun and interesting side cast of characters who help Lucien and Ryder along the way, one is drawn completely into the story and kept invested right to the end.
Wicked Games was a hot and sexy romance with a lovely bit of criminal adventure thrown in for good measure. It was well paced, humorous and intelligently crafted and a story that I think many will enjoy!
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