This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on March 12, 2019
The shadowy side of Vegas comes alive in a gritty romantic suspense series as a cop and an ex-Army Ranger training to be a private detective fight their personal demons, fight for a chance to be together, and fight to find the answers to the dark and hidden Seven of Spades serial killer introduced in the first book and new cases that have come their way.
Trick Roller is book two in the Seven of Spades series. It continues the story of Levi and Dominic begun in Kill Game. This is a series that has a strong series arc for both the romance and suspense elements so works better read/listened to in order.
It’s three months after Levi and Dom survived a tough case and came together as a couple, but Levi is coming off a break up of a long-term relationship and struggling with his secret obsession while Dom still fights the demons of his gambling addiction. They are good together and for each other as they believe in and support each other. However, they are keeping secrets and the cracks are forming with all that is going on. This includes Levi’s new case of a dead doctor out in Vegas for a medical convention and a man that its easier to find who liked him than the plethora of those who had reason to hate let alone kill him. Dom is working on his PI license and the classic cheating husband case is pushing him hard. Meanwhile, the Seven of Spades… the elephant in the room as quiet as they have gone in all these weeks continues to be an obsession for Levi even though it could mean his career if he doesn’t let it go.
There was a lot going on in this second book, but I found it a strong sequel. I am one who enjoys when there is a deep and complex character-driven person or persons along with a cunning case. The author makes both these men fragile and flawed along with strong and capable so I enjoyed getting to know them further and seeing them work at a relationship that isn’t easy and work at the situations their careers bring them. They take turns narrating in third person and I enjoyed getting to know both and appreciated the vast differences in how they saw each other and the world around them.
The surrounding cast is a diverse and eclectic group of friends, family, coworkers and neighbors that add to the background tapestry and have their own life stories rather than are merely place cards.
The romance was caliente. This pair might have some serious hurdles outside the bedroom and okay, they are still feeling things out being a couple in all ways, but they sure steam things up. They are opposites and their personalities can rile the other up without much effort, but it is also evident that they have a deep connection and major chemistry. It is obvious that there is more to come because things are unsettled.
That brings me to say that I thought the author shows what a great series author she is. What I mean is that some authors can string some stories in a series together and a reader can like some and love some, but not get into the books as a series whole. Where this author writes so that each series installment feels like the next piece of the story snapping into place and consistent with strength and story path with the book before it. I definitely look forward to what is to come.
Wyatt Baker was a first time narrator for me. I thought he narrated Levi and Dom well. I distinguished their point of view more from style than drastic voice differences. He got pace, tone, and the various voices and accents so that Trick Roller was a wonderful and smooth listening experience.
All in all, I thought this was a fabulous romantic suspense that grabbed my attention both toward the tracking down of murder, but also deepening my investment in the characters and their relationship. Those who enjoy spicy m/m gritty romantic suspense should check out this book/series.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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