Blog Tour ~ Pretty Poison by Aimee Nicole Walker (Reviews + Excerpt)

Pretty Poison

Sinister in Savannah Series, Book Three

Aimee Nicole Walker

LGBT Romantic Suspense

Release Date: 02.20.21

Blurb

Redemption seeker. Chameleon. Damaged heart.

By day, Rocky Jacobs is a private investigator. By night, he produces Sinister in Savannah, a true-crime podcast, with his two best friends. Rocky’s life revolves around three principles: possessing skill is better than having luck, a man’s reputation is everything, and there’s no sacrifice too great for those you love.

Is Tess Hamilton pretty poison or just unlucky in love?

That’s the question the trio of trouble will try to uncover. This investigation strikes a little too close to home for one of them. Tess, a woman accused of killing her three husbands, has been tried and convicted in the media, something Rocky knows all too well. When their investigation turns up nothing but dead ends, Rocky will keep digging. Is it because he believes in her innocence? Or does Rocky hope to find redemption for himself by achieving it for Tess?

A stagnant case turns out to be the least of his problems.

What happens in Vegas never truly stays stay there. For fifteen months, Rocky has been running from a tragedy that shattered his life and countless others. The most painful casualty was the destruction of his marriage to Asher Dunleavy. When the sexy federal marshal turns up in Savannah, Rocky is reminded of his greatest love and deepest regret. Every minute spent in Asher’s presence makes him yearn for the life they lost. Will Rocky drown in the sorrows of what might’ve been or fight for what could be?

Sinister in Savannah series is a fictional podcast exploring the city’s most nefarious crimes with Southern-fried snark. The books explore friendship, love, loss, and the irrepressible human spirit. Pretty Poison is book three of three. While each novel is written about a different couple, the series should be read in order due to continuing storylines. Sinister in Savannah is an LGBT romantic suspense series with mature language and sexual content intended for adults eighteen and older.

Trigger warning: the main character struggles with PTSD resulting from an investigation involving a murder-suicide. While the content is not overly graphic, it could still cause emotional harm to some readers. One of Rocky’s side effects is anxiety, which may trigger similar reactions in those battling the disorder. As with the murder-suicide scene, I avoided being too graphic with his attacks.

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/Pretty_Poison

Excerpt

Setting the aluminum pan on the counter, Rocky pulled the mixing bowl from the cabinet and a whisk from the drawer while Asher pulled out ingredients from the refrigerator.

“How old is this ham?” Asher asked.

“Honestly, I’m not sure. Sniff it.”

You sniff it.”

Rocky crossed the room. Asher lifted the deli bag up, and Rocky took a deep whiff to see if the contents were still fresh. “It’s good.”

“Forgive me if I doubt your food freshness test.”

Rocky shrugged. “It’s never let me down before.”

“They say there’s a first time for everything, but I’ll happily go the rest of my life without experiencing food poisoning.”

They locked eyes and started to laugh because it was a conversation they’d had many times during their short marriage. Rocky reached inside the deli bag and tore off a hunk of meat and popped it into his mouth. Asher’s eyes dropped to Rocky’s lips and he seemed mesmerized by their movement. And maybe Rocky chewed the tiny piece longer than necessary before swallowing and declaring it safe enough for Asher to eat.

“Where do you keep your skillets?” Asher asked.

Rocky crossed his arms over his chest. “And you claim to know me so well.” He muscled Asher out of the way and opened the oven door, then gestured to the pots and pans stacked neatly inside. “Tah-dah.”  

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

5 Stars
 
This is the third book in the Sinister in Savannah series, and it’s a close call as my favourite. Rocky is the third of a trio of Podcasters that are the centre of the books; his character has slowly emerged over the first two stories, and we were left with a hell of a bombshell at the end of book two. This is a series that you need to read in order, but the other stories are as excellent as this, so it isn’t an issue. While they have overlapping plotlines and characters, each has a different feel to it; which means that your interest is kept through the series and you don’t feel you are re-reading the same story, rehashed.
 
All the books have a cold case investigation element. In this story though, it is more low key and we don’t have a climax based around a grand discovery. Rocky’s steady investigation continues around him reconnecting with Asher, his husband.  The story is a slow reveal of how the two have reached the point where they are divorcing and are living in different cities. It has been clear, in the first two books, that Rocky is carrying a burden; now we get to see what has caused this and its ramifications.
 
I simply adored this pair. Asher’s quiet, dogged determination to win Rocky back, despite not fully understanding where they went wrong, cannot help but make you love him. The pain that Rocky obviously feels deeply is fuelled by misconceptions and his sense of failure. That these two are deeply in love is obvious. Whether they can overcome these barriers is a gripping, emotional, sometimes funny, but always satisfying story.
 
I cannot recommend this story, and series, highly enough. The use of the podcast investigations is a unique and effective hook to craft three, beautiful love stories around. Each is quite different, but, in my opinion, ends with the most emotional of stories. Being greedy, what I’d really love is for the author to write a prequel novella to expand Rocky and Asher’s first meeting and their falling in love. The description, in this story, is teasingly brilliant.
 
This is a must-read for me.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***  

 

5 Stars

Wow, the southern heat is on! Kick up your feet, grab a glass of sweet tea, and be prepared for a sizzling and dynamic adventure. I love this series, as each book gets better…and that’s saying a lot. Please do yourself a huge favor and read the previous books to truly appreciate the eclectic and diverse personalities you’re going to meet. From fierce drag queens to stubborn private detectives, this new story grabbed me by the first few pages.

Rocky is a private investigator and, along with his friends, runs a true-crime podcast. This man is brash, brilliant, and oh, so troubled. Fleeing to Savannah, after a terrible tragedy, he leaves behind the husband he still loves. He wants Asher but feels he is too broken. Luckily, his hubby is still fighting hard for their marriage, and is against Rocky’s decision of a divorce. At first, it’s so confusing, since Asher has literally turned his life upside down to get a job transfer from Vegas to Savannah to convince Rocky they still gave a chance together. Rocky clearly loves Asher, so why is he so adamant about ending their union? As the book progresses the reasons will become clear of all the turmoil and the PTSD Rocky is suffering from.

This book has it all—intense love scenes, comedy, and mystery—all rolled up into one delectable story. While Rocky is struggling with his feelings and noble reasons for leaving Asher, he is also trying to unravel a mystery for their true-crime podcast.

Tess Hamilton was never convicted but suspected of killing her three husbands. The media never relented on their coverage of her. Rocky and his crew dig deeper into the truth with Tessa’s approval.

I loved how the mystery was kept in the background, quite alive but not the most important feature of the story. The major focus is Rocky and his past trauma, and how he’s trying to cope with the dramatic night that forever changed him and drove a wedge into his marriage. Rocky and Asher were believable as a couple and all I wanted was there to be healing so they could reunite.

If you adore southern manners, hot private investigators, snarky journalists, and sassy drag queens, what are you waiting for? Pick up Pretty Poison and indulge. Happy reading!

** * Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure,a review wasn’t a requirement. * * *

 

~ * ~ Annies Review ~ * ~

4.5 Stars
 
The Sinister in Savannah series has proven to be a lovely surprise for me. The unique premise of an investigative podcast is fun, the trio of friends are eclectic and enjoyable, and I’ve loved tagging along as they look into unsolved crimes or uncover the truth behind those who have been falsely accused. I’ve also enjoyed the romances in each of the books. They stand apart from one another but all contain great chemistry, good heat, and a sweet emotional connection sure to be a favorite among readers.
 
Pretty Poison marks the third book in the Sinister in Savannah series and is definitely my favorite. I’m a sucker for hurt-comfort and second chance stories, and this book has both. Rocky’s past has intrigued me since Asher popped into the series. However, I certainly had no inkling of the full story. Rocky’s struggle to process and move forward from a past traumatic experience and his questionable marital status captured my full attention immediately. I loved the palpable love and chemistry between Asher and Rocky. I also really liked that I never felt the will-they-won’t-they angst as it was clear that both men desperately wanted to make their relationship whole again.
 
Unlike with the other Sinister in Savannah books, Pretty Poison seemed to keep the suspense and investigation primarily contained to the latter part of the book. I was a bit surprised initially, but really liked the way the book progressed. It gave the author sufficient time to explore Rocky’s past and establish Rocky and Asher’s relationship, and the build-up to the full investigation into the “black widow” storyline was worth it. Nothing came easy in Pretty Poison, whether that be the detective element or Rocky’s personal journey, but the author’s steady, measured approach made for a memorable, believable story. The smooth writing and continued banter among the group of friends round out this romantic suspense and make it an easy recommendation.
 
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***

 

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

https://linktr.ee/AimeeNicoleWalker