The Wicked Truth (The Wickeds: Dark Knights at Bayside) – book review

The Wicked Truth
by Melissa Foster
Release Date:  December 7, 2022
Book #4 in The Wickeds: Dark Knights at Bayside series
Part of the larger Love in Bloom series
Number of Pages:  382
Contemporary Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: domestic abuse, grief,
mentions of a drug overdose
What happens when you’re not looking for love, but it walks in the door?

Madigan Wicked’s heart is not up for grabs. She’s been there, done that, and she’s not going back for seconds. She pours her heart and soul into her family, her greeting card line, puppetry, and storytelling performances. But she’s not opposed to having a night of fun, and the gruff, sinfully hot, definitely-not-looking-for-love mysterious stranger she runs into at a bar might be just the right man to enjoy it with.

Ex-con Tobias Riggs has lost enough for one lifetime. The only family member in his corner doesn’t remember him, and the people who he thought would always be in his life, walked away. He’s just trying to make it through each day, and the last thing he’s looking for is any sort of connection. When chemistry ignites with the snarky, sexy storyteller, with lips he can’t stop thinking about, he gives in to a night of passion.

Though neither is open to love, it’s been known to bully its way into even the most resisting hearts. But can it survive the wicked truth of Tobias’s dark past?

It’s hard to beat the Wickeds and the Whiskeys when it comes to hot, strong, protective marshmallow men. Tobias Riggs does it though, he’s right up there with them all. This is especially obvious because the protective nature of the Wicked brothers comes out to play big time in this story and they drastically overstep, causing a huge rift in the family when Madigan calls them out on their behavior.

Tobias made a mistake in his past while trying to protect a loved one. It has made him an even bigger marshmallow, he is so very careful about keeping his temper under control in all situations. It’s not that he’s no longer overprotective, but he knows the ramifications of letting those feelings get the better of him and he’s a better man for that restraint. It’s no wonder Madigan falls head over heels for the guy. Although they do have a rough start, their chemistry cannot be denied for very long.

While I adore this author and this series, as well as the bigger Love in Bloom series, there is often too much trying to explain the back story of some characters that make the text clunky. It’s always nice to catch up with old characters from past stories, but not at the expense of the flow of the current story. I know a lot of that is to help readers who are new to the Love in Bloom universe, but in my opinion, the oversharing could scare away new fans. The main character of one book can be in a group of people without the reader having to know who each person is in the great scheme of things. It is causing me to downgrade this story’s rating a bit as I felt it got in the way.

Other than the rambling that was not needed, this story is amazing. It has a ton of heat and excitement but also gives so many aspects of what family means and how we can love our family and not like them at times. Madigan has to set boundaries with her brothers and cousins and Tobias has to forgive himself and try to make amends with his sister. Both need to learn how to share things they find shameful to find the trust needed to sustain the love they have for each other.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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