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He’ll do anything to protect her from danger…but it will cost her everything.

Security specialist Matt Montgomery has never forgotten—or forgiven—Madison Archer for walking away and ripping out his heart. Three years later, she crashes back into his life, terrified that her wealthy husband is trying to kill her. Matt vows to protect Madison…but there’s a price. He’ll have revenge by making her submit to his every sexual demand.

Part of a powerful, ruthless political dynasty, Madison's soon-to-be ex has deep, dark secrets. When uncovering them nearly proves fatal, she turns to the one man she knows can protect her—the lover she’s never been able to forget. Matt’s ultimatum is both shocking and intoxicating. But if she wants to keep herself and her ailing father alive, he’s her only option.

As the danger escalates, so do Madison and Matt’s feelings. But navigating their rocky past while trying to stay one step ahead of her deadly husband proves perilous. Will their forbidden love survive the danger and give them a second chance at happiness?

**Wicked as Secrets is part of the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire romantic suspense series. Stories in this series are told in a duet of two full-length novels. Each duet can be read as a standalone. Includes strong language, sexy times, alpha male attitude, and a guaranteed happily ever after. Enjoy!**

First published May 9, 2023

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About the author

Shayla Black

187 books9,497 followers
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than ninety contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

As an only child, Shayla occupied herself by daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and started pursuing a publishing career. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America, her heart was with her stories and characters, so she left her pantyhose and power suits behind.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, gaming, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

Follow me on Facebook: http://shayla.link/FBPage

Join me in my Book Beauties group for weekly LIVE chats: http://shayla.link/FBChat

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 103 reviews
Profile Image for Shayla Black.
Author 187 books9,497 followers
Currently reading
May 18, 2023
Don’t miss this one! New Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire coming May 16th! He’ll do anything to protect her from danger…but it will cost her everything. ❤️ Wicked as Secrets… http://shayla.link/WASecrets

❤️‍🔥 Bodyguard
❤️‍🔥 Danger
❤️‍🔥 Forbidden Love
❤️‍🔥 Forced Proximity
❤️‍🔥 Former Military Security Team
❤️‍🔥 Lovers Reunited
❤️‍🔥 Second Chance Romance
❤️‍🔥 OG Wicked Lovers cameos!

Profile Image for Nadine Bookaholic.
3,521 reviews328 followers
May 16, 2023
OMG, That Ending...Shayla, what are you doing to me? I need part 2 NOW!

This book had everything I could have wanted from the reunion of Matt and Madison. You felt the chemistry between the two of them when they met in a previous book but we weren't given too much of what was happening between them at that time...we get it all now.

Continue reading my review here ➡ https://bit.ly/NBReviewWAS7

wicked as secrets by shayla black

Nadine's Obsessed with Books **I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, Nadine's Obsessed with Books
**I also pre-ordered a kindle copy
You can find me here:  https://linktr.ee/NadineBookaholic
Profile Image for gabreadsbooks.
619 reviews34 followers
May 5, 2023
A thriller with a lot of steam and angst, what more could you want?

I read the last duet in this series and loved it that I knew I had to continue with the next duet. Matt and Madison appeared briefly in the last book but we didn't get too much insight as to what happened between them. This book shows their past and how they reconnect due to life threatening circumstances.

This started with action and didn't let up, not even at the end. This helped keep the story exciting and the pace fast. I needed to know what was going to happen next. Nothing that occurred was predictable either.

This is a second chance romance filled with angst and steam. There is plenty of mutual pining and angst which is always my favourite when it comes to this trope. You understand what drew these two apart but also what is drawing them back together. They really felt like fated mates (paranormal term but it fits). I liked that things between them aren't immediately repaired which made the relationship appear more realistic.

The steam here is hot! We get a flashback of the weekend they spent together as well as their reunion. There is so much longing between these two so when they get together it's fireworks. There is some dabbling into BDSM but not too much. I assume there will be more in part two.

Overall Wicked as Secrets is a thrilling & sexy romantic suspense and I can't wait for Part two to release.

Would recommend if you enjoy: romantic suspense, heroine in danger/on the run, bodyguard romance, thrillers, second chance romance, angst, and steamy romances.

Rating: 4/5
🌶️ Rating: 4/5
Profile Image for Megan Henry.
28 reviews
May 7, 2023
What was that ending!?! This book has me shook! I thought I knew how the book was going to go and I was mistaken in the best way! I thought reading this was going to be a typical second chance romance where Madison leaves her husband Todd and finds her way back to Matt and they go on about life with the typical ups and downs by coming back together. But NO!!! When Madison sees Todd do something when she’s approaching to get a divorce and has to go into hiding and heads back to Matt for protection I was no prepared for the tension they would radiate!!! It’s obvious before you get to the throwback chapters that these two had major feelings during the weekend they first met. I loved the past chapters to show us exactly went down and how they sparked so fast and so hard for each other. By the time we get back to the current, we realize how much Matt is struggling with his feelings for Madison and his lifestyle. But we also see him struggling to let her go even though he feels it’s best for her not to be under his watch and protection. By the time I finished this book I was craving more!!! I didn’t want it to end and love that it left me on a cliffhanger desperate for more! Will definitely be checking out the books in the series which follow the other couples in the EM Security family to see how they all got their happiness that is described of them in this book!
Profile Image for Christina.
151 reviews7 followers
May 6, 2023

✨Second Chance
✨On the Run
✨BDSM Lifestyle

•Third Person POV
•First Book in the Duet

This book was such a page turner! It kept me on the edge of my seat with the intense drama and a lot of steamy scenes! 🔥

Madison & Matt had an instant connection that neither of them could deny. Madison was all in with Matt so quickly, but circumstances with Matt’s dad had him questioning himself. By the time he realized his true feelings for Madison, she had moved on. Madison ends up marrying Todd, who is heavily persuaded by his family and high in politics. What Madison thought was going to be a good marriage to him, ended up being furthest from the truth. Madison finally wanted out, but she witnessed something and ends up on the run. The only person she thinks to go to is Matt. While they haven’t spoken in years, she is still drawn to him and he’s in the security line of work. Matt instantly agrees to helping Madison and can’t contain his feelings around her. While trying to keep her safe, they both realize they enjoy the BDSM lifestyle of being a Dom & Sub. But what happens what her husband demands she play along with his stimulations in order for her to stay alive and be free once again?

I really enjoyed reading this book! I loved not only the connection between Matt & Madison, but the drama of being on the run. It kept me wanting to read more and more and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens in the second book! 😍

Favorite Quote:
“In that moment, she couldn’t care what was smart or what tomorrow might bring. He was her world. Now was the only moment in time.”
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.4k reviews425 followers
May 19, 2023
Matt and Madison are quite the couple who can't get their shit together until towards the end of this one when they finally talk and each understands why their past was the way it was and how they lost 3 years to not being able to communicate well. This bodes well for their future, but first they need to be alive to enjoy that future. Standing in the way is Madison's current husband, who is a huge POS, who has done some horrible things. It seems like the marriage will be ending soon, but the book ends in a huge came of chicken, one in which we'll have to wait for the next book to see who wins.
Profile Image for LaWanna Lewis.
101 reviews5 followers
May 18, 2023
Wicked as Secrets
Another great book. Was happy to see some of the other people from previous books pop up in this one.
The story of Matt and Madison takes you from the first time they met all the way until they meet again. Matt has be obessed with Madison since he first saw her. He had problems with dealing with the way his dad handled women, so he thought that the way he felt about Madison was wrong and he did nothing when she left town. Madison was also obessed with Matt, but when Matt never called her back after that one amazing weekend, she thought he had ghosted her like every other man in her life.
But when Madison married someone else and after a couple of years found out some horrible things about her husband, she ran from her marriage back home to Louisiana and to Matt.
During the time that they are together trying to figure out how to keep Madison safe, they reconnect and find out that their attraction to one other is still very strong. They hide out in the swamps thinking that they are fine, until the husband shows up........................ and that is where Shayla Black leaves you hanging until part 2 of this awesome 2 part book. I can not wait until I can get the next installment of this amazing couple.

I received this book for free from the author, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review
Profile Image for Merry Jelks-Emmanuel.
4,228 reviews102 followers
May 21, 2023
This book has some exciting twists and turns with some I didn't expect. Madison is seeking a divorce from Todd but witnesses something that places her life in danger with her going to Matt for protection. Being with Matt again have them rehashing their past with them coming to the conclusion that miscommunication broke them apart. Will she and Matt get a chance to rekindle their love for each other. This story had me in their corner.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Lynn Thinking out loud .
1,435 reviews58 followers
May 16, 2023
We met Madison in Wicked as Seduction. This girl I thought was just going to be one of those psycho ex's that went through all of the security guys. Well turns out she just wanted to be loved and everyone just ghosted her "afterwards". Matt comes into the picture and starts working for the security team. They meet up. Something goes awry, and they do not communicate. Because of Matt's past he's afraid of being really serious about anyone. Well they go their separate ways. Something awful happens and she runs to Matt for protection. The book is really good except in this whole series the couples books are 2 parts.
Profile Image for Karin.
2,146 reviews
May 20, 2023
I’m loving Matt and Madison`s story I don’t know who king I can wait for the next one after how this one ended!!!! Please be soon
Profile Image for Maryger Chacon.
313 reviews
May 16, 2023
Wicked as Secrets by Shayla Black, is the seventh book in the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire series, this time it's Matt Montgomery's turn, this handsome and powerful man is a security specialist and when fate brings the woman that broke his heart, he vows to protect her, but he will use this opportunity to handle her as he pleases and make her pay for the pain she caused him. For her part, Madison Archer finds herself seeking Matt's help when her life is threatened by her soon-to-be ex-husband, who is part of a powerful and ruthless family, who keep dark secrets and who have put her in danger, her and her sick father. Things will get intense for these two characters that when they have to face danger and as they work together to stay safe, they will realize that their attraction has never left nor the feelings forgotten.
This story is great, it is full of suspense, action, danger, sexy moments and a love story that you will not want to miss. And I warn you just when we get to the climactic and most exciting part of the story, the author leaves us in suspense! Yeah! It ends in a continue, but that's okay, I'll wait patiently to see what will happen with this couple because I know the second part will be explosively good. Highly recommended!!!
*Thanks to Shayla Black and Valentine PR & Literary Management for my ARC. I voluntarily leave my honest review*

Wicked as Secrets de Shayla Black, es el séptimo libro en la serie Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire, esta vez le toca el turno a Matt Montgomery, este guapo y poderoso hombre es un especialista en seguridad y cuando el destino le trae a la mujer que le destrozó su corazón el jura protegerla, pero utilizará esta oportunidad para manejarla a su antojo y hacerle pagar por el dolor que le causó. Por su parte Madison Archer se encuentra buscando la ayuda de Matt cuando su vida está amenazada por el que pronto va a ser su ex-esposo, quien es parte de una familia poderosa y despiadada, que guardan oscuros secretos y que la han puesto en peligro a ella y a su padre enfermo. Las cosas se pondrán intensas para estos dos personajes que cuando los toque enfrentarse al peligro y a medida que trabajan juntos para mantenerse a salvo, se darán cuenta que su atracción nunca se ha ido ni los sentimientos han sido olvidados.
Esta historia es buenísima, está llena de suspenso, acción, peligro, momentos sexys y una historia de amor que no querrás dejar pasar. Y les advierto justo cuando llegamos a la parte culminante y más emocionante de la historia la autora nos deja en vilo! Sí! termina en un continuará, pero esta bien, esperare pacientemente para ver que pasará con esta pareja porque sé que será explosivamente buena la segunda parte. Altamente Recomendada!!!
*Gracias a Shayla Black y a Valentine PR & Literary Management por mi ARC. Dejo voluntariamente mi reseña honesta*
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,444 reviews160 followers
May 15, 2023
4.25stars—WICKED AS SECRETS is the first instalment in Shayla Black’s contemporary adult WICKED LOVERS: SOLDIERS FOR HIRE erotic, romantic suspense duet focusing on thirty-three year old, security specialist Matt Montgomery, and twenty-seven year old, primary school teacher Madison Archer.

Told from dual omniscient third person perspectives (Madison and Matt) using present day and memories from the past, WICKED AS SECRETS follows in the aftermath of a murder Madison Archer witnessed her politically connected husband Todd Pershing, kill his cousin , and was now on the run for her life. Three years earlier, having met security specialist Matt Montgomery, thinking she had fallen in love, Madison’s heart was broken when our hero ghosted the woman he would never forget. Fast forward to present day, Madison battled between head and heart, knowing the only person who might be able to protect her was the man who had broken her heart. In hiding, Matt and Madison would have to remain one step ahead of the powerful Pershing family, a step that is about to close fast with conditions applied. What ensues is the rebuilding relationship between Madison and Matt, as our couple must come to terms with what happened in the past, and the terms present to our heroine in an effort to move on with her life.

The relationship between Matt and Madison is one of second chances. Matt broke Madison’s heart three years earlier, sending her into the arms of a man she could never love but nothing is as it appears to be, and Madison’s life is not the picture present to the American public. Matt was destroyed the day Madison married Todd Pershing, and has never forgotten about the woman who got away. In hiding, Matt begins to consider his Dominant side in respect to Madison’s submission, and begins to act on his need to control the woman with whom he is falling in love but the Dom/sub plot line comes out of left field, and feels awkward in contrast to their current situation. The $ex scenes are intimate, numerous and erotic.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters many of whom we have met in the numerous Wicked Lovers instalments. Everyone is willing to help keep Madison Archer safe but they seem to take issue with Matt Montgomery’s involvement.

WICKED AS SECRETS is a story of betrayal, murder and vengeance; second chances and forgiveness. The fast paced premise is intriguing, engaging and suspenseful; the characters are determined and dynamic; the romance is seductive yet struggles in the face of history and hurt. WICKED AS SECRETS ends on a cliff hanger-you have been warned.

Profile Image for lovelust andbloodygoodbooks.
323 reviews7 followers
May 17, 2023
Thank you Shayla and Valentine PR for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

This is my First Shayla Black Book and certainly will not be the last.

Wicked as Secrets follows the story of Matt who works for EM Security. When we first meet him he as at his friends wedding. Matt is a quiet and broody an He doesn't talk about his feelings, his emotions or his past. He broods and tries to deal with everything on his own until he cant. He is caring and a sexy Cowboy.

When he first meets Madison Their connection is instantaneous, Its undeniable and neither of them can fight it in any way.

Madison is a wonderful caring women who puts everyone's needs before her own. She has been treated fairly poorly by guys in the past used and then left. When she meets Matt she gives herself to him in every which way. she cant understand why she does because she just cant help it. When Matt ghosts her though she see's him as just another man who cant be what she needs and allows that to be the catalyst that pushes her into making a huge and dangerous mistake.

When we first meet Madison she witnesses an event that she shouldn't have and goes on the run from her husband and his wealthy family. Todd Pershing is a vile man and his family are manipulative and will use anything to get what he needs and get out of trouble. Madison knows too much and is aware of what they will do to her.

Madison runs to the only person she knows will protect her Matt. the man from the best weekend of her life who she still loves but worries about how she will be received. These two go through a few twists and turns at the hands of others and that Blooming Cliff hanger OMG I need to know more.

I enjoyed reading this book, although I was expecting a little more darkness and a few more twists and turns to happen. this hasn't affect the book though as within this we got to know the characters more and their story but i just wanted a little more action from it i think. Although I may eat my words when the next books comes out.

My Overall Rating is 4 💋💋💋💋
My Character Rating is 4 ❤️❤️❤️❤️
My Smut Rating is 3 🍆🍆🍆
My Angst Rating is 2 😬😬
Profile Image for Kay Daniels (Kay Daniels Romance).
1,547 reviews42 followers
May 3, 2023
Heart-pounding action and lots of steamy chemistry from the very start of this book!! I loved every moment of it!!

Matt Montgomery and Madison Archer-Pershing had one hot and heavy weekend three years ago and then sadly Madison married someone else. Now after witnessing something horrific and life changing, her husband is after her because of what she saw and with no where else to turn she goes to the one person she can think of...Matt.

I loved returning to this world A LOT!! Yes, there were updates from past characters, which was amazing, but this book also felt brand new. It wasn't overwhelming for a new reader to get lost and it was exactly the right amount of reunion for a fan like me.

I've read Shayla for years, along with other books that covered the D/s lifestyle. I can't stress enough how much I loved how this particular book that made stepping into this world feel like new again. What Shayla gives us, as readers, is brilliant for anyone new to reading this series, or new to reading about this topic, or even a refresher course for fans. Let me explain, Matt has always felt this burning desire to basically possess and dominate Madison when he was near her, even when he didn't use those words. It was what basically scared him away three years ago. While he is aware of his friends being in the lifestyle, he never really knew what that meant. Now that Madison has come back into his life those feelings are back tenfold and then add in the savage need of saving her life. Matt is finally introduced to what his feelings mean and how to channel it. His vitality and need for Madison...wow...I was constantly fanning myself. I would want Matt in my corner anytime of the day.

Now, the whopper of a cliffhanger....my mouth was hanging wide open and I need the next book immediately!!
1,101 reviews
May 9, 2023
I was pulled into this second-chance/forbidden romantic suspense book, and couldn't put it down. It packs quite the emotional wallop while keeping me on the edge of my seat. It was riveting, heartbreaking, and all-consuming. My heart broke for both of these characters. There were miscommunications and misunderstandings that had life-changing consequences. There was so much hurt and anger between them, but neither one of them has forgotten the other. Matt often found himself thinking of her over the years, and what could've been but he has so many conflicting feelings and if he was honest with himself, he still cared. Madison lives with the regret of marrying Todd every day. She has never gotten over Matt. When Madison finds herself in mortal danger from her husband, Todd, she turns to Matt, the only man she can trust to protect her. Protecting Madison won't be easy though because her husband is part of a powerful, ruthless, political dynasty that will do anything to protect their legacy. That's not the only problem...They are forced into close proximity and old feelings start to surface. Matt vows to protect her at all costs, but will they both pay the ultimate price...their lives? Will they be able to keep their feelings buried?

Some twisted things happen in this book and I was glued to the pages! This author knows how to write riveting romantic suspense books that hook you, reel you in, and never let you go. This one is no different. I loved the angst, emotions, action, and suspense but most of all, I loved the love I could feel between them. The secrets that are uncovered are mind-blowing! It ends on a shocking cliffhanger, and I'm dying for the next book! This is a must-read!
225 reviews5 followers
May 16, 2023
Wicked as Secrets by Shayla Black is book one in the next duet in the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire series. It is about Madison, who has appeared in the past two duets in this series and Matt, who appears in the past three duets. Madison is a kindergarten teacher and Matt works for EM Security.

Matt and Madison met initially at the wedding of One-Mile and Brea and then again at the wedding of Trees and Laila. There was an instant connection between them and they spent the weekend together after the wedding. When they parted each feeling that their relationship was more than a weekend fling. Unfortunately, Matt carries a lot of baggage from his father and after a call from him, he concludes the best thing he could do for Madison was to stay away. Madison, feeling ghosted and unwanted by yet another man, is vulnerable to the charm of the grandson of a corrupt US Senator. He made her feel wanted and adored. After a whirlwind romance, she accepts a marriage proposal.

Fast forward three years, and Madison witnesses something that puts her in her husband’s crosshairs and he attempts to kill her. On the run, she turns to the one person that she believes can help her and doesn’t have children.

As the story unrolls, both Matt and Madison have to learn more about themselves and how to communicate with each other. There is more emotion and relationship building and less action in this book than in most of the other books in this series. The chemistry between these characters is off the charts and there is a lot of intimacy. This author is extremely good at bringing the heat to her stories. As with all these duets, this book ends in a cliff-hanger, leaving the reader impatient for the next volume to be published. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it for readers who love explicit romantic suspense novels. This author excels at writing a well planned and executed novel that the reader is guaranteed to love.

I am voluntarily submitting this review after reading an advanced complementary copy of this book via Booksprout.
May 15, 2023
Suspense, betrayal & second chances

Shayla Black's Wicked Lovers: Soldiers For Hire series has so far been a gripping, suspenseful, and of course romantic. WICKED AS SECRETS is yet another unputdownable read, a spicy second chance romance that is filled with angst. This is the first book in the duet featuring Matt Montgomery and Madison Archer.

Three years earlier Matt and Madison shared an intimate, steamy weekend together, but afterward Matt left Madison with a broken heart. She went on to marry, a decision she regrets now that she's on the run because she witnessed something she shouldn't have. Just who does she run to? The only man she ever loved and trusted to protect her, Matt.

Matt had always been confused by what he felt for Madison, his need to dominate and protect her. The longer they were together the more intense his feelings grew, but he needed to control his thoughts and his actions, a task he found difficult. Suffice to say, when he acts and claims Madison, they share steamy, hot, erotic moments. Matt knows he must keep her safe, but how?

Betrayals. vengeance, murder, lies, understanding, miscommunication, and second chances are intricately threaded throughout this intriguing and mesmerizing story. Shayla keeps her readers gripped to the edges of their seat right to the very end. What an ending it was, a cliffhanger that I never saw coming!!

Well done Shayla Black. I cannot wait for the conclusion of Matt and Madison's story in Wicked and Bare.

Read and Reviewed for Reading Is Our Satisfaction


Profile Image for Book Nerdy 2020.
327 reviews4 followers
May 16, 2023

Security specialist Matt Montgomery has never forgotten—or forgiven—Madison Archer for walking away and ripping out his heart. Three years later, she crashes back into his life, terrified that her wealthy husband is trying to kill her. Matt vows to protect Madison…but there’s a price. He’ll have revenge by making her submit to his every sexual demand.
Part of a powerful, ruthless political dynasty, Madison's soon-to-be ex has deep, dark secrets. When uncovering them nearly proves fatal, she turns to the one man she knows can protect her—the lover she’s never been able to forget. Matt’s ultimatum is both shocking and intoxicating. But if she wants to keep herself and her ailing father alive, he’s her only option.

😊What i liked -

✔ Forced Proximity/Forbidden Love/Second Chance/Bodyguard/Romantic Suspense.
✔ Matt's character was quite intense.
✔ There was a nice mix of the past with the present.
✔ I loved the snippets with a few other characters in this and the impact they make to the story.
✔ This book is a quick read with lots of angst, spice, action and suspense.

🤔What could have been better -

✔ I had a bit of a problem with Maddison's character. (haven't really understood her personality yet)
✔ Oh god that cliffhanger had me wanting to fling my kindle across the room.

📚Who Should read :

💝Romance Lover
🚫Forbidden Romance
💕Second Chance Romance

📈My Rating : 4/5

P.S- There was a hint of BDSM in this, not a fan but the author somehow kept me interested.

Thank You, Shayla Black and Valentine PR ,for a copy.
255 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2023
What a story this is. I have not read any of the other books from this series and now I know I need to go read them - especially if they are anything like this one.
Madison and Matt met and instantly the connection was there. They spent a passion filled weekend together. Even though they did not say anything to each other, their hearts becomes involved. Thinking the other was not "into" them, they forged separate lives, new relationships and made big mistakes. Matt regretted leaving Madison until it was too late. Madison, heartbroken, allowed her self to become the wife of the grandson of a political dynasty. It was never meant to work out. But Madison, finally deciding enough was enough soon found herself running when she see something she shouldn't. In order to live she has to run and the only person she can run to is Matt. It will be up to Matt to protect her and he will do so on his own terms.
This is a very fast paced story full of regrets, attraction, suspense, and a hot and steamy romance that never died. This is a great story but it is important to know that it does end in a cliffhanger. I normally do not read cliff hanger books, but I did not know this was the case. However, I am so invested in reading the next part of Matt and Madison's story, I have forgiven the author. LOL. Such a good, well written story!.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Maz.
403 reviews15 followers
May 16, 2023
I loved how the story kicked off on a high adrenaline and it didn't stop even till the end! Whether it was through fear or love and spice.
I really liked both Matt and Madison but there were times I faced palm so many times because of Matt. That big Alpha really needed to get out of his head. So much time was lost because of it and then it was too late, Madison belonged to someone else.
I cried a lot with Madison because of how she felt she was never enough for any body.
As always, the communication was key but fear always took over and stopped them from doing so.
The heat and chemistry between Matt and Madison is inferno.
Madison is on the run from her evil husband (by name only really), he is trying to kill her as she witnessed him murder someone.
Matt was the only person she could come back to for help, her love she could never forget.
All these men are Alpha and give you, if you touch her I will Unalive you vibe.
While they're trying to get her a deal to escape alive, Matt and Madison find themselves hidden away for few weeks in close proximity.
This leads them to explore their chemistry and create oh so so much heat 🥵.
And then Shayla does what she does best, she leaves us hanging with the horrible cliff hanger and I need to know what's going to happen!!
Great read, that captures you from start to finish. Drama, Suspense, secrets, betrayal heartbreak, murders, BDSM elements, humour, emotional damage and whole lot of steam.
Profile Image for Deana-Coffee, Books, Life Blog.
663 reviews15 followers
May 17, 2023
4 Stars

Matt and Madison had that kind of connection that you know it’s something special. Chemistry was only the beginning. They had a connection on a level that was deeper than either one of them now. And then it just ended. Did he break her heart or did she break his period?

Fast forward a few years, and Madison finds herself in the deepest of deep trouble. On the run, and no one to trust there’s only one person that she knows can even begin to help her. Matt finds medicine outside his window and knows in an instant that she is in trouble, and he must help her.

Full disclosure for this review. This book ends in a cliffhanger.

Secrets and lies, on the run and danger just behind. Wicked as Secrets starts was so packed action and doesn’t let up. Madison and Matt begin to deal with her unresolved issues while still feeling the connection that has never burned out. With serious danger just over their shoulders, they work together with some of our favorite Shayla black characters to find a way to get Madison safe. Just when they think they have some things figured out, everything hits the fan and puts everyone in a position they would rather not be in. Madison knows everything is hanging on a person she can’t trust. Matt is about to lose his mind over something. He should be able to help control.

As a general rule, I am not a fan of cliffhanger books, but yet I love this series. Fortunately, Miss Black is kind to her readers and doesn’t make us wait too too long.
Profile Image for Renee.
3,600 reviews37 followers
May 16, 2023
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author to review for Stephanie's Book Reports.

Matt Montgomery is a security specialist who has never forgotten or forgiven Madison Archer fro walking away and taking his heart with her. Now that three years have passed, she is crashing back into his life. She is beyond terrified that her really rich husband is trying to kill her. Of course he just can't sit around and let someone harm her so he is going to protect her but it is going to cost her. He can't forget what she is done and having her submit to him will be the perfect revenge. However the man she is running from is from a very wealthy political family and he has some really dark secrets. Madison knows that deep dark secret now. They have already almost cost her her life and the only man she knows that can protect her is Madison. Now there he stands making an ultimatum that she just doesn't think she can pass up. However if she wants to keep herself and her very sick father alive he is the only choice she has.
This is a book that the danger builds in as you are reading and the author did an amazing job of keeping me on the edge of my seat while I was falling for these two characters. This book has everything you want a good romantic suspense. It was such a great read, you do not want to miss it.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,689 reviews
May 16, 2023
Holy cow! This story starts off fast and intense! Matt and Madison spent an intense weekend together after attending a wedding. She felt such a connection with him and thought she may be in love that quick! However, as always with her life, he ghosted her.

After her amazing weekend with Matt and him leaving her, she quickly left town with her dad and went to DC, where she met Todd, who's family were very crooked politicians. She knew he was cheating on her and kept a "place" that she was never invited to. On this night, she decided to confront him. As she goes into the apartment, she hears Todd and his cousin fighting. She approaches and starts filming, but what she heard and saw was way more evil than anything she thought even Todd was capable of. She escapes with her life, however, Todd and his family are after her. She goes to the only person she can think of to help save her ..........Matt Montgomery.

Matt was home one night when who should he see outside, but Madison. The woman that he couldn't get off his mind. She was in big trouble and needed his help. Of course, he'll help because security is his job and he still has feelings for her.

What an amazing story!! I was so in love with Matt and Madison while reading this book. Their story definitely hit the ground running! The characters were wonderful and it was nice to visit previous characters.
1,372 reviews6 followers
May 21, 2023
This book is part of the Wicked Lovers:Soldiers For Hire series and it's the first book in Matt and Madison's intense story. If you've been waiting for this story like I have than I know that you were not disappointed in the reunion of Matt and Madison since we already knew that they have chemistry to spare from when they met in a prior book but we didn't get to experience it until now. We begin with Madison having to leave her house it's a matter of life or death that forces her to return to Matt. After all it's been 3yrs since they spent the weekend together that changed their lives and Madison is only back because an influential and ruthless DC political family is targeting her. She turns to the only man that she can think to protect her Madison only hopes that Matt will due her the courtesy of at least listening to her and after he hears her story his protective instincts rise. Matt is willing to do whatever it takes to protect Madison but he's going to need some help. I don't want to say anymore and ruin it for anyone else with spoilers. You really need to read this intense story to see what happens. I would recommend reading this book and I can't wait for the next book to see how their story ends.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Melanie Marnell.
3,311 reviews19 followers
May 8, 2023
If anyone knows how to do intense it's Shayla Black. Her books are filled with intense drama, intense suspense, intense emotions and intensely steamy encounters. Wicked As Secrets measures up in every way. Added to that we get to go back to EM Security world with Logan & Hunter Edgington, One Mile, Trees, and their team members as well as Jack Cole & Deke Tarkenton of Oracle Security. Some of my favorite characters and having them in the picture makes what's great even better. Be warned, Wicked As Secrets is part one of a duo and not the end of the story.

If ever two people failed to communicate it's Matt Montgomery and Madison Archer. Three years have elapsed since the weekend they spent together that changed their lives. Now Madison is back with a bullseye on her back and a well connected, influential, ruthless, DC political family taking aim at her. Turning to the only person she could think of to protect her, Matt, she can only hope that he'll at least listen to her. His protective instincts immediately kick in. He'll do whatever it takes but doing it alone is not an option. Some well placed words from Jack gives Matt some valuable insight into who he is and how to give Madison what she needs. Dealing with those threatening her is definitely not going to be easy.
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.2k reviews144 followers
May 16, 2023
Second chance story?! Check! Suspense with the twists coming in hot?! Check check! Brutal cliffhanger ending that left me cussing up a storm?! CHECK CHECK AND CHECK! Wicked as Secrets was a fantastic story that kept me on the edge of my seat all kinds of animated & I do think I came up with new versions of the f-bomb before having to pick my jaw off the floor as I've never been so insulted LOL. Madison left Matt in dust back in the day, which did a number on his heart, and despite the fact that he's not over her, he can't forgive her either, but little did he know it would be put to the test. Madison married a powerful but shady AF man with the type of secrets that land people in the grave if they uncover them which Madison happened to do. Now she's on the run, and she needs serious help to stay alive which has her crashing back into Matt's life, and while he'll protect her, there's a price (not money) for that protection. As the danger is escalating, these two find it easy to fall back into their feelings, and there's no doubt the heat is still very much there. All this exciting goodness with a kicker of straight fire sexy times led to a mother of a cliffhanger which had me asking myself out loud, HOW THE HELL WILL I BE ABLE TO WAIT?! HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
May 17, 2023
Wicked as Secrets is the 7th book in the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire series. This is a duet within the series and is Matt Montgomery and Madison Archer’s story.

I do believe Shayla Black loves writing “instalove” romance novels. Not that I don’t believe in them. I am living my own “instalove” romance and we have been married for 46 years. So instalove does exist!

I loved reading Wicked as Secrets. Sparks fly. Danger exists. Twist and turns to be had. Makes for a very interesting and sexy read.

I knew there was going to be a cliffhanger but even knowing it doesn’t help. It is hard to wait. At least the next book is due out soonish.

It was great to read more about Trees, One-mile. They each have their own stories told. I am in love with this series. Now bring on Part Deux!

#1 Wicked as Sin - “One-Mile” Pierce Walker and Brea Bell
#2 Wicked Ever After - One-Mile and Brea continued
#3 Wicked as Lies - Zyron “Zy” Chase Garrett and Tessa Lawrence
#4 Wicked and True - Zy’s and Tessa’s story continued
#5 Wicked as Seduction - Tree’s Forest Scott & Laila Torres
#6 Wicked and Forever - Tree’s and Laila’s story continued
#7 Wicked as Secrets & #8 will be a continuation of Matt and Madison’s story
673 reviews
May 20, 2023
Madison and Matt attend a wedding of their friends and they end up spending the weekend together. A series of misunderstandings causes them to spend the next three years apart. They both want to be together but there are some huge obstacles in the way including the fact that Madison is now married. Then she finds herself in terrible danger so she tracks down Matt to ask for his help. They end up continuing their misunderstandings until they are forced to sit down and talk. Can they figure out how to protect Madison? Will they forge a lasting bond?

I did not like this story. First, it's part one of a two-part (or more) set. I didn't realize that going in but it becomes obvious fairly quickly. Second, a large portion of the book is about them meeting three years earlier. Third, it was kind of a yawn. There is no substance until the moment where they are forced to talk and that is such a tiny part of the book that it didn't have the impact it could have had. Why did I give it 3 stars? It isn't poorly written. The author had a vision for how to build tension and create two complex characters. It just didn't work for me. I have a feeling a lot of people will love this story.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Alphas Do It Better Book Blog .
3,144 reviews85 followers
May 20, 2023
4.5 stars

Shayla Black knows how to suck readers in and leave them gaping for answers as they teeter on the edge of a cliffhanger! Wicked as Secrets is an angsty, suspenseful romance done duet style (hence the cliffy!)

Matt and Madison met at a wedding three years ago and the bride and groom weren't the only ones getting up close and personal! They spent a weekend gourging themselves on each other. Truthfully, they were obsessed with each other and even though they walked away, they never got over it.

When Madison shows up on his doorstep looking for protection from the snake she married, Matt can’t help but help her. Not only does he possess the skills to keep her safe but he could never turn her away. He can keep her physically safe but can he protect their hearts?

This book was so angsty and smexy and just plain yummy! Loved all the characters and the dynamics of the group. Was frustrated by Matt and Madison's inability to TALK and overcome their misguided notions for much of the book but love Jack's assistance in showing them the way. 😉 The story continues in the next book, where I hope the guys feed her swarmy ex to the hungry gators!

AnnMarie - Alphas Do It Better Book Blog
Profile Image for Christine.
316 reviews18 followers
May 8, 2023

4 Stars

I have to say I had high hopes for this book but I felt more than once that there was holes in the story and their relationship made me want to scream more than once.

Matt and Madison haven't seen each other in a few years. Not since he ghosted her and she left him without a word and ran off and married another man. I wish there had been more to this backstory it seemed like it was glossed over.

This jist is she ran away from her lunatic husband - who she has had a miserable marriage with after she sees him commit a crime and "coincidentally" had her senses about her to record it. She goes running back to Matt who now works at a security company. Can you see where this is going. And of course while he is protecting her their old love (passion) rekindles.

For some reason I just could NOT connect with these two. Not sure if it was the shaky backstory or how awkward they still are with each other. It didnt feel genuine to me. It does leave off in a rather huge cliffhanger and I am actually interested in seeing how this pans out. Hoping this next book I can feel their love for each other a bit more and it seems more realistic.
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