Queen City Rogues Series, Book 2
Aimee Nicole Walker
Release Date: 03.11.19
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.
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.
I have to admit up front—I’m not usually one to seek out romantic suspense like this story. That said, I have enjoyed this authors books in the past which is why I started reading the Queen City Rogues series. There’s a small bit of setup in the first book, Broken Halos, for Wicked Games towards the end of that story but you don’t have to read book one before starting this one. It’s been several months since I read the first book, and I’d honestly forgotten most of that setup for this story and I had no problem jumping right in.
I did feel for both Ryder and Lucien. Poor Ryder feeling used and basically like a sucker (no, not the fun kind), and Lucien feeling absolutely broken about deceiving Ryder and leaving how he did. But I understood Lucien’s position, and just held on hoping everything would eventually work out…this is a romance after all.
The two of them do have an intense physical chemistry together, but their connection does go deeper than that; it’s just getting around Lucien’s…job…that provides the conflict for this story.
I did so enjoy the secondary characters in this book, especially Dev and Percy who made me laugh. I liked their unconditional support of Lucien—which of course translated to Ryder as well—but it was their lighthearted banter that offered some levity to keep things from getting too dire.
For me, this was an enjoyable read and my rating is right around 3.5 stars—it was a good way to pass the time, and I’ll be continuing with the series going forward. The flow of this one wasn’t really smooth for me, I’m not sure if I should chalk that up to the genre or the writing this time around…but if you’re a fan of this author’s books you’re most likely going to enjoy this one as well. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
About the Author
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.