Riot Street, an all-new standalone from Tyler King is now live!
Sometimes, getting in too deep is the only way to survive . . .
As darkly charismatic as he is unpredictable, Ethan Ash knows me better than I know myself. He’s spent years unraveling the family scandal I’ve tried desperately to escape. I once thought that made us adversaries. Now he’s the closest ally I have left.
Ethan’s both the chaos around me and the deep, calm center where I feel safe. People warn me about him, tell me he’s dangerous. Don’t fall for him. But it’s too late. Because I can’t tell where my addiction ends . . . and his obsession begins.
3.5 unexpected stars
Tyler King’s second book is an intelligent, multifaceted, twisty read with wonderfully developed, flawed, complex characters. It’s a really unique read with a lot of drama and intensity, very different from what I was expecting and I enjoyed the originality of the story, and the fact that I had no clue what was coming as it all unfolded.
Avery Avalon had a tragically unorthodox upbringing, but she has bravely and boldly risen from the ashes of her past and is pursuing her dream of becoming a journalist. Ethan Ash is an award-winning journalist who holds a special interest in Avery – he wrote a best-selling novel based on her early life, and now he is encouraging her to apply for a position at the magazine where he writes – Riot Street.
Ethan is mysterious and charismatic. He obviously has an interest in Avery and immediately puts himself in the role of mentor and protector, and their early dynamic is really entertaining.
“Quit apologizing. If you walk around like a charity case, that’s how people will treat you.”
“Then stop acting like my chaperone.”
“I’m not going to let you get absorbed and disappear. So you might try a little gratitude.”
“And a touch of humility wouldn’t kill you.”
“I tried it once. Didn’t suit me.”
There are secrets surrounding Ethan, and Avery’s colleagues give her warnings but she can’t help but be drawn to him, and as they spend more time together they grow closer and their relationship begins to shift.
“You’re like my own polite stalker. It’s only a little creepy.”
“There it is.” Taking a bite, he reclines and stares up at the ceiling. “She said the S-word.”
“Really. I mean, I get it. I’m fascinating. You’re obsessed with me. Just as long as you don’t let it interfere with doing our jobs.”
He laughs, shaking his head. “You’re such a brat.”
I really liked Ethan as a character. I loved his confidence and his intelligence, and his clearly protective streak. He’s complex and enigmatic, and though the romance came as a bit of surprise, he quickly won me over as a romantic hero.
“What do we tell people?”
“Nothing if you don’t want to. Or the truth: you’re mine and I’m not giving you back.”
“And what are you?”
But while the romance is intense, it’s not the sole focus of the book because there’s a WHOLE lot of story going on. Of course, there’s Avery’s backstory and the impact that has had – and continues to have – on her life (which honestly would have been enough to carry a book on its own), but there’s also the mystery of Ethan, issues at the magazine, newsworthy political drama, Avery’s family drama, Ethan’s family drama, friend drama and dark secrets to be revealed. There’s a lot happening! And while I enjoyed the way that the story twisted and turned, it sometimes felt like there was a bit too much going on. I would rather have less storylines with a stronger focus, because I felt like I couldn’t really get my teeth stuck into one particular part of the story. I still have questions, and there are things I would have liked explored more rather than just getting glimpses. And being the mad romance reader that I am, I didn’t get as fully invested in Avery and Ethan’s love story as I wanted.
As I know from Tyler King’s previous book, her writing is great – strong, emotive and beautifully descriptive, without becoming overly poetic. But it does get a little heavy at times. It’s the kind of writing that you need to concentrate on rather than just easily slip into. But she does a great job of sucking you in and telling her story. Admittedly, it took two attempts to really get me into the story but I put that down to my reading mood and once I was in the right headspace to dive into this one, I was sucked right in.
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Tyler King was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in English. As a journalist, her work has appeared in Orlando magazine and Orlando Business Journal, among other publications.