Erryn reviews Toxic by Rick R. Reed. The ebook was released March 15, 2022 and is 311 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Paul Will. It was released June 23, 2022 and is 8 hours and 33 minutes. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Connor Ryman thought he had it all–a successful career as a mystery novelist, a condo with stunning views of Seattle’s Lake Union, a supportive and long-term partner, Steve, and a loving daughter, Miranda, who was following in her father’s creative footsteps.
It all went bad when Steve left the family suddenly. Jilted and heartbroken, Connor begins to search for love online. So long off the market, he enlists his daughter’s help in crafting a dating profile.
His prayers are answered when Trey Goodall, smart and handsome, answers his ad. He’s witty, urbane, a wealthy attorney, and his sex appeal is off the charts. But he’s a liar, a monster under a pretty mask. Miranda sees through the red flags and senses something very wrong beneath the façade.
Can she convince her father to save himself before it’s too late? Or will Trey, a master manipulator with a very tainted history, play upon Connor’s innocence to ensnare him in a web of deceit, intrigue, and ultimately, murder?
I didn’t read the blurb for this book – choosing to go in blind as I often do. The first chapter sets things up clearly, but I spent the rest of the book wondering why it’d been included at the beginning since it gave away much of the ending. The last paragraph of the book loops back and it all makes sense, but I kind of wondered if it’d been better without giving so much away.
Well, no worries. I enjoyed the book. Told from multiple points of view, this is really Connor Ryman’s story. He’s got everything going for him when his long-term partner leaves him. He decides he doesn’t want to be single, so he embarks on a journey to find a partner. Cue dating apps.
Ugh. Personally, I don’t see the appeal. But speed dating is no longer a thing, so what other options are out there?
Connor meets Trey who appears to be everything one would hope for in a partner. Things start going sideways, though, and it’s pretty clear Trey’s not a good guy. The question was, of course, how is this going to end?
End it did, and I enjoyed the story. Made all the better with the audio narrated by Paul Will. The story had thriller elements, but was just a good book with interesting characters and a good plot. I enjoyed it.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”