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New Release Review! MANIAC by Onley James (Necessary Evils #7)

Maniac by Onley James is out now! Check out the gorgeous dark MM romance and be sure to get your copy today!

He never strayed from the right path. Until Aiden.
MANAIC by Onley James
out now graphic

Title: Maniac
Onley James
Genre: Dark MM Romance

Thomas Mulvaney was just a child when an error in judgment cost him everything. He vowed then that he would do anything to atone for his mistake. And he did. He never strayed from the right path. Until Aiden.

Aiden Mulvaney doesn’t exist. He’s a lie created by the father who disowned him and by Thomas Mulvaney, the only man Aiden had ever begged to love him. But that was years ago, when he’d still believed in fairytales. Before Thomas rejected him.

Thomas has spent years trying to have Aiden in his life while keeping him at arm’s length, but Aiden’s done with half-measures. He’s done with Thomas the martyr. He’s just done. So, he’s kept his distance. Trouble is, now, someone is threatening to expose a secret that affects them all.

No, not that one. A secret so shameful, Thomas won’t even utter it out loud. Can he and Aiden revisit the past and keep the family name intact, or will they both be buried beneath the weight of their memories as their old feelings resurface?

maniac cover

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“The family that slays together…” Honestly, these guys should have t-shirts made up. Or maybe bumper stickers?

Maniac wraps up James’ Necessary Evils series with…well, a whole lot of bangs 😉 Thomas has spent years avoiding–avoiding the temptation of Aiden, avoiding dealing with the tragedy of his childhood, avoiding …well, basically just avoiding. When someone who apparently knows the tragic/shameful secret of Thomas’ childhood threatens to reveal all, he turns to Aiden in is hour of need. But Aiden has had it with the push and pull that Thomas has subjected him to for years–can he give him one more chance?

Confession time: I’ve only read the book before this in the series so far ( Lunatic ), so when the whole family is together–which they are a lot here, once Thomas and Aiden leave their we’re-going-to-try-and-figure-this-out-ourselves-or-maybe-just-reveal-secrets-and-bang bubble–I got a little lost. OK, I got a lot lost. I can easily see how those bits will be really popular with series fans, though. (And that epilogue–the epilogue is really something!)

As someone new-ish to the series, I did feel like we got tossed into the middle of Thomas and Aiden’s relationship without enough context to make us really invested in them as a couple. It’s clear there’s a lot of history there, and maybe we see at least some of it in the other books? but I really wanted a more concrete backstory than I felt we got here, which was a bit disappointing. And though I have no problem with a 54-year-old and a 30-year-old in a relationship–they’re both consenting adults–a 30-year-old perving on a 16-year-old is less OK. Maybe that opening scene could have been from Aiden’s POV instead?

So…maybe some of this book would have worked better for a series regular? I didn’t hate it, but it also didn’t have the same umph for me as a reader that the previous book did. Not absolutely loving this one is not going to deter me from my plan to go back and read the previous series books, though, or keep me from checking out the 2 promised spin off series, Jericho’s Boys and The Watch, when they start coming out.

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

necessary evils series covers

Catching Up with the Series:
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Ebook | Audio

About the Author:

    Onley James lives in Central Florida with her daughter, her daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and a menagerie of animals, both good and evil. James splits her time between writing m/m romance and mainlining dangerous levels of caffeine and attempting to maintain her ever-slipping sanity.

When not at her desk you can find her whining about how much writing she has to do and avoiding said writing by binge-watching unhealthy amounts of television. She loves true crime documentaries, anti-heroes, obsessively scrolling social media and writing kinky, snarky books about morally gray men who fall in love with other men.

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