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Publisher's Summary

Eleven years ago I walked away from the only man I’ve ever loved. Back then, I was afraid to take a chance on a man with a past as dark as Cole’s. Now I know just how short life can be. I need to keep my kids safe, not get mixed up with the mob. But the feelings I had all those years ago? They’re just as strong now. Cole has changed. He’s harder. Crueler. And just as alluring as he’s always been. When my life is in danger, he’s the only one I trust. Falling for him again is the last thing I should do. It’s too bad I can’t resist. 

My heart stopped beating eleven years ago. That’s when Sam tore it out.
I haven’t needed it since. Now I’m back in The Elm, the same neighborhood Sam calls home. It’s my duty to protect my boss. But my heart still belongs to Sam. If he rejects me again, I won’t recover. And if he asks me to walk away from the family... You don’t walk away from the mob. But for him, I’d tear it all down for the chance at a life together.

Get ready for a 65,000-word second-chance romance featuring a single dad and the mafia enforcer he let get away! 

©2020 Special Fiction Books (P)2021 Special Fiction Books

What listeners say about Wicked Guardian

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A medium angst, second chance romance!

This was a medium angst, second chance romance with a sweet single dad and a very hot mafia enforcer.

This was such an amazing book!
I enjoyed listening to this one.

The narrator did an amazing audio delivery and narration.

The storyline was engaging and the characters were well fleshed out.

Absolutely recommend this!

2 people found this helpful

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The Intrigue Continues

This story picks up where book one left off. In book one, the last chapter is the true first chapter. Parts of this story acts as a stand alone, but parts of it require book one to be listened to, or read in book form. You will be confused if you don’t.

In this book we learn why Sam is so skittish with the mafia. We also learn of his history with Cole, as the past starts to become the present. While this storyline was enjoyable, I liked book one better. We get to see Jake and Max, along with all of the other Elm Street characters.

The author doesn’t leave us with a chapter introducing us to the characters in the next book. While our characters get a HEA, the storyline in the background is not finished. Now this is just a guess, but I think the next book will feature a couple we’ve met already, and that’s why the book ended in a different way than Lyda typically uses.

This is the second book I’ve listened to with Mike Peterman as the narrator. I feel he has great potential. He did a good job with differentiating between characters, but sometimes I didn’t care for Sam’s voice...mostly during the steamy bits. Other than that, I enjoyed listening to him being this story to life.

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Second chance steamy HOT story!

I really enjoyed listening to Cole and Sam’s story! This is a second chance for them and even with the children involved, the two just clicked back like puzzle pieces! The protective side in Cole and his interaction with Sam’s kids had me captivated from the beginning! I really enjoyed their steamy hot chemistry whenever they were alone! It’s a fantastic audible and I loved narrator Mike Peterman’s voices and theatrics and thought he a fantastic job with this audiobook!

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Lost loves reunite!

I really enjoyed Cole and Sam’s story, their love is sweet and tender but fierce in its intensity. They met each other several years ago and had two weeks of incredible passion and connection. Sam’s fear of being with someone in the mafia drove them apart, until their paths accidentally crossed again. This time neither wants to lose the other, but they have challenges to overcome in the form of death threats and threats that Sam would lose custody of his children. Cole was beautifully supportive of Sam and I really enjoyed watching him fall in love with the children. It’s a really enjoyable story.

I received an arc of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review

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Overall more of a 3.5

I really liked the story. I love a good mafia read, but it was very hard to get into the story because of the narrator. I'm sure he did his best but it didn't work for me. There were not a lot of character differences and his voice was kind of bland. Sorry.

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Cole & Sam

A great second chance romance for Sam and Cole. They had a quick fling years ago but it left a lasting impression on both of these men. When they see each other again, the chemistry is explosive and they cannot resist one another again. Especially when Sam's life is in danger, there's no way Cole is going to let him go. I love how protective Cole is of Sam and how well they work together. There are quite a few obstacles for these two but they work through them together. I voluntarily reviewed a gifted copy of this audio book.

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Fantastic

The narration of this book is fantastic. The characters truly come to life. The plot hooked me and I hated that my commute was so short!

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A Second Chance at Love for Cole and Sam

Mafia enforcer/underboss Cole and single-dad Sam have a second chance at love in Book 2 of the 'Elm Street Mafia' series. Eleven years ago, Sam's fears abour his homosexuality and Cole's involvement with the Russo Family cause him to deny himself a relationship with Cole. Now that Cole's back in The Elm, will Sam finally allow himself to have his dream of family with Cole at his side?

Once again Lyda and May have written a heartfelt love story. The love Cole and Sam share shines through all the background chaos of their lives. in the intervening years between first love and second chance, they've learned that facing obstacles together can make their love stronger. With this story, the reader receives a low-angst adult romance filled with sweetness and steam. All-in-all, a satisfying read.

Since this story also features romantic suspense, there are some action scenes with danger and violence. Added to this is a sub-plot involving custody of Sam's children that ends up tying into the mafia angle.

Mike Peterman's narration for this second book is good. The tone and cadence suit the story well.

This is a voluntary opinion of this audiobook, I requested and received it as a free revoew copy.

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Sam and Col

Sam and Col had a 2 week fling 11 yrs ago. Since then Sam was married and had 2 children, his wife died in an accident and he has been all alone. When Col Mac's Enforcer hits town, he has to try to stay away from Sam. But Sam and the kids witness a Mob beating down and Col comes to the rescue. Beautifully written, great characters and perfect narration

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Excellent!

Excellent! Sam and Cole had a past. Eleven years ago they spent two weeks together, but Cole’s father got in their way. Sam couldn’t accept Cole’s mafia family. They reconnect thru Max. So many things going on in this story but it’s sooo good!! The narrator was a new to me narrator. He did a great job!

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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 04-05-21

a great continuation from book 1

a wonderful and passion filled second chance romance.

There is a fair bit of mafia danger but we continue on directly from the end of book 1 and dive right into Cole and Sam's story! with a thrilling car case (or two), two adorable and endearing kids and a fierce connection that's reignited after 11years, you're in for one hell of a story. I really enjoyed this one and loved the connection between Cole and Sam!!!

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  • Lex Buchanan
  • 03-03-21

Great character

I loved the characterization of this brother. The characters were fun and interesting, they had unique quirks and were endearing. I liked the ending a lot .

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  • Amelia
  • 03-03-21

A family-oriented romance

For a mafia-themed romance, this story was much tamer than the first book in this series. Sure, there was still the threat of danger lurking in every dark alley, but as a whole I found the tone of this book much more lighthearted. Seeing Sam interact with his kids was absolutely adorable, and I loved that Cole always treated them with the respect them deserved. I wish I'd had more background on how Sam and Cole's relationship started, but even without that it was easy to see how compatible these men were. Sam and Cole had a lot of internal issues to work through before their love could catch fire, and I enjoyed seeing them conquer their inner demons. I wasn't particularly wow-ed by the steamy moments or fast-paced plotline, but overall this was a pretty decent audio with great narration.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.   

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  • Gwen
  • 03-03-21

Second chances/ready made family

Sam is in danger at the Elm, and the only one he trusts to keep him safe is the man he left behind a decade ago. I love second chances. This one held my heart. Sam has two kids and a cruel father who makes his life hell. Cole is there to protect him and his family, and fall again for each other in the process. I enjoyed their journey and boy did I love the kids. The narrator did an awesome job.

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  • Magnus
  • 03-02-21

Great addition

A great addition to the series by Ali Lyda and Alexa May. Sam and Cole were great characters to get to know and I enjoyed the journey. Mike Peterman did a nice job with the narration.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 03-02-21

Talk about complications

Boy do these two guys have obstacles in their way! One is the son of a homophobic cop and the other is a Mafia enforcer. Just that would be enough and in fact it drove them apart when they were younger. But now, one needs protection for himself and his kids and the other has to decide if he can provide that and not get killed by his Mafia colleagues. I loved these two characters from the start and could not wait to see what kind of angsty ride the authors would take me on. It was a wild one that did not disappoint. Mike Peterman did a wonderful job with Cole and Sam. They came across as adult, street smart men but with deep emotional ties to each other and the pain of an almost impossible situation. I felt everything in Peterman's performance.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 03-02-21

The Mafia Enforcer and the Single Dad

What happens when you’re a widower with two kids you love more than life itself but you’re working a dead-end low-wage job that barely pays the bills and keeps you living in the rough part of town? You make the best of it, of course. You love your kids, keep your head down, and, naturally, don’t witness any violent shakedowns.

What happens when that doesn’t work? You call the one man you’ve been in love with for years because he’s a mob enforcer and he’ll protect you and your kids, right?

Sam is a good guy who loves his kids. He works at a gym in The Elm to give them a safe space but now the mob’s moved in, it’s not as safe as it might once have been. But Cole is there to watch over things, and has no hesitation to step in when Sam and his kids are in danger. Pretty soon those long-suppressed feelings of attraction are coming to the surface. The men had a passionate love affair but that ended years ago when Sam walked out the door. Both men have mourned that loss, so when fate throws them back together, neither is willing to fight the attraction for too long.

Like the first book in the series, there are morally ambiguous characters who encounter violent situations. There are also moments of tenderness where you almost – almost – accept that a man can change after having lived such a violent past. If anyone can do it, it’d be Cole and his boss Max.

I enjoyed the book and will pick up book three if there is one. There are a few single characters who might step into the limelight. Finally I’ll mention Mike Peterman. He does well narrating this series and I hope he does any subsequent books.

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  • alias11
  • 03-01-21

Enjoyable second chance romance

I enjoyed this audiobook, although I did get a little bored during some of the family/down time scenes. Overall, there seemed to be less action and drama than in the first book, but what scenes there were were suspenseful, dramatic, and full of danger. Their are (at least) three distinct conflicts in this book - Cole and Sam, Cole and the Irish mob, and Sam and Ed - and they kind of intertwine throughout the book. The most important goal for Sam is keeping his kids safe, happy and with him. His father Ed is a homophobic bully, and what he did to Sam, and was already starting to do to Justin, was terrible. Sam and Cole had a great time 11 years ago for 14 days, but Cole's mafia connections and Sam's desire for the traditional family, tore them apart. Now that they are both back in the Elm, has anything changed, or are things even more complicated? Sam's struggles were so realistic and heart-felt that I could feel his angst and desperation. What a terrible choice to face...your kids or the man you love. I loved the way it all worked out and the sacrifices Cole was willing to make for Sam and the kids.

The narration was really good. I didn't have any trouble distinguishing the characters, and the expression of emotions and angst was really well-delivered.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 03-01-21

Awesome

This was such a great audiobook.
I really enjoyed listening to this very entertaining story.
I can't wait to listen to more of this series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sarah mitcham
  • 03-01-21

Full Circle

This is Sam and Coles story and takes place when the two meet up again eleven years after they had had a brief but intense relationship. Sam is now a widow with two children and Cole is still a mafia enforcer whose boss and friend is in a relationship with Jake, Sam's friend and owner of the gym where Sam works part time as a personal trainer. The two men are forced to spend time together when Sam's life is in danger and it gives them the chance to talk about the past and the possibility of a joint future. Overall I enjoyed the story but found it to be a bit disjointed and overall Mike Peterman's narration was a good standard but everytime he said parent it sounded more like apparent, I found this annoying and it happened repeatedly.