Title: Rough Trade (The Woodbury Boys Book 3)
Author: Sidney Bell
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Genre(s): Dark romance, mystery/suspense
Page Count: 496 pages
Reviewed by: Ele and Tosha
Premed student Tobias Benton is making amends for his past. He keeps his head down, mouth shut and colors within the lines. But when his close friend Ghost goes missing, Tobias will do whatever it takes to get answers—including using blackmail to enlist some help. The last thing he’s looking for is romance.
Private investigator Sullivan Tate isn’t above a little breaking and entering to solve a case, but when Tobias catches him in the act, it’s almost game over. Their uneasy alliance only gets more complicated when Sullivan learns that Tobias shares his interest in kink. Mixing sex and work could kill Sullivan’s career, but Tobias’s acceptance of Sullivan’s darkest urges is nearly impossible to resist.
Side by side, Tobias and Sullivan spend their days searching for the truth and their nights fulfilling their respective fantasies. But the answers they seek are far more dangerous than they realize, and soon they find themselves fighting for more than just each other.
About Rough Trade
1. Rough Trade is a full-length novel of 120k words. It is the last book in the trilogy–there are zero cliffhangers. While I tried to make sure that new readers starting with the third book of The Woodbury Boys wouldn’t be lost, there are multiple plot threads that carry over between books, and your mileage may vary.
2. Like your romance complicated and angsty? This will be right up your alley. But be aware–Rough Trade includes scenes of graphic violence, explicit m/m sex, and references to abusive sexual content that some readers may find triggering. If you have questions about content and whether Rough Trade is right for you, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific details before you buy.
3. All of Carina Press’s books are sold DRM-free, including Rough Trade. If you have no idea what this means, just know that it’s a good thing for readers.
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The Woodbury Boys Series
He didn’t know jack about what Rook wanted; in fact, the only raw response he’d ever gotten had been Rook checking out his ass.
Ghost sighed. Predictable or not, at least he knew how to work that one.
“Okay,” he murmured. “Okay.”
He rose and went to Rook’s side of the table, kicking the chair leg gently until Rook, with the bewildered air of a man humoring someone, scooted back.
“Did you need—” Rook began, and then his words stopped because Ghost slid into his lap, slinging a leg over those telephone-pole thighs to straddle him, steadying himself on Rook’s meat-slab shoulders.
Ghost was skinny but not small-framed or short; he was five-foot-ten for crying out loud. He shouldn’t have felt this overwhelmed by Rook’s size or strength. But he couldn’t help the shiver that struck him at the difference between them. Rook wasn’t a man you beat; he was a man you withstood, assuming you survived. If this went badly, Ghost might not walk away in one piece.
Rook leaned back, brow settling low over his eyes, his hands going to Ghost’s hips to keep him still. “What are you doing?” he asked, about as inviting as a thorn bush.
Ghost made his mouth curve into a wicked smile and rocked his hips against Rook’s. “When two people love each other very much—”
Rook’s hands clamped down, managing to hold him
still while also considerately avoiding Ghost’s wound. “Stop.”
“I’m clean, if that’s what you’re worried about. Spratt made me get tested when I moved in with him.” Ghost leaned in, dragged his lips against the edge of Rook’s jaw.
Rook jerked his head away. “Believe it or not, that’s the least of my worries at the moment.”
Ghost rocked again as best he could, wincing internally, both at the ache in his side and at the size of the bulge under his ass. Either the guy was already hard as iron or he was hung like a damn horse. Ghost hoped it was the former. His body hurt enough already. “Then what’s the problem?”
Rook swallowed. “You don’t have to do this.”
“Sure you do. Which is why you’re here, in my lap, not a minute after it became clear that you had nothing else to offer me to make me let you stay.”
He wasn’t stupid, Ghost would give him that.
“Given the circumstances, it does seem suspicious,” Ghost agreed. “Fortunately, you’re aware that I’m of age, willing and able to consent, and that as a prostitute, I’m used to this sort of transaction, and thereby unlikely to be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually damaged by the process. Which means there’s no reason not to make that deal. If you’re worried about your rep, don’t be. No one will ever know.” He cemented his point by nosing down the line of Rook’s throat, dropping soft, hot kisses along the way.
“I’ll know.” Rook’s hands tightened further, to the point of real pain. “I’m not the kind of man who pays for sex.”
“Everyone pays for sex. It’s just that we don’t always pay with money. Sometimes it’s with dinner or dancing first to make your partner feel respected, sometimes it’s with drinks in a bar, sometimes it’s with date movies or going to see someone play in their awful band or listening to someone talk about their bullshit.” Ghost slid a hand to the nape of Rook’s neck and dragged his nails against the sensitive skin there, noted the way that iron jaw tightened. He let his weight shift forward so that he brushed against the bulge of Rook’s cock again.
Rook’s eyes closed for a brief second. Good. Ghost continued, “So it’s not really you paying for sex. It’s a trade. I get a couple more days to figure out what comes next, and you get the ride of your life.”
He rocked one more time, and he’d definitely been wrong about Rook being hard before, because he was getting hard now, and it was sort of intimidating, the size of that bulge under Ghost’s ass now. Jesus, that was going to hurt. He let the constriction of his throat work for him here, turning his sigh into a gasp, like it felt good, and Rook’s gaze fell to Ghost’s mouth.
“Besides,” Ghost added, voice dropping to a lower, rougher register, “if you’re packing what I think you are, it’s really not going to be a hardship.”
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Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.