~BOOK REVIEW~ Riot Street by: Tyler King

Heads up for anyone getting ready to read Riot Street:  This is one of those deceiving reads whose book hangover sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

When I first finished this book—well over a week ago now—I closed it with a satisfied smile, pleased with the writing and appreciative of the ending.

However, I was able to get on with my life quickly.

Until three days later, when I woke up thinking about something that happened with one of the characters. The hangover was subtle, but it was there, and I knew I had to talk about it.

So even though I’m not great with writing reviews … here goes because there are some things you have to share with others.

Tyler King’s writing was superb and the characters in Riot Street were heartbreakingly real. I knew I was going to read this the minute I read the blurb because the premise was different from anything I read so far.

I mean come on! The hero—Ethan Ash—wrote a book inspired by the heroine’s—Avery (aka: Echo)—real life as being the daughter of an infamous cult leader. She is literally known as “The Girl Who Lived” because her father killed a whole bunch of the cult members, and even tried to kill her, but failed at the latter.  

Now she’s about to work for the same magazine/online news outlet as one of the only other people who know the truth of her story. You can’t help but wonder if their relationship is going to be bred from hate or, as the blurb suggest, Ethan’s obsession with her and her past.  

GENIUS!!!

You already know you’re going to get some of that office drama, as well as a hell of a lot of UST with them in closed quarters. And don’t forget that pesky little fact that—thanks to an interview he secured with her father in prison—Ethan knows more about her story than she knows about it herself. A fact that works well as a silent antagonist.

The thing I didn’t expect is that Avery’s past in the cult and Ethan’s unfiltered knowledge of it wasn’t so much the antagonist we expected it to be. It was definitely an issue between them but also not really.  

And while I’m the kind of reader who appreciates when drama and uncertainty get wrapped up quickly—as it does in Riot Street—instead of being dragged on forever, I have the feeling that hardcore angst lovers might feel some disappointment.

Especially with the what, when, and where’s of the other shoe dropping coming to light. Did that make sense? Probably not. I mean the ‘twist’ … the big reveal of what Ethan’s issues really are. It was jarring, not gonna lie. But it didn’t take away from the story one bit. If I’m being brutally honest, it didn’t really add anything to it either, but with the way it’s written it barely hits the point of any kind of frustration. I know some people hate spoilers, but I also know that some people love them so if you DON'T want to know squint your eyes and scroll past the next paragraph...

(Sidenote: I tried to make it where you had to highlight the spoiler text to see it, but alas Idk how to do that on Squarespace.)

Anyway...


{Spoiler: Turns out that Ethan is an alcoholic. When I realized this, or when it was called out, I nodded to myself, realizing that the clues were there all along. But I think because we learn very early on, and even from the blurb, that Avery was once a drug addict, I didn’t expect it. I thought his biggest issues were going to be the effects of his semi-dysfunctional family, and I didn’t really have enough time to process the reveal because shit had already hit the fan.  End.}


 

I think mostly what ‘the twist’ did for me, was expertly provide an opportunity for Avery—and the reader—to see how strong she is, how fiercely loyal, but also not irritatingly co-dependent.

For someone who has had a lifetime of battles of her own, she’s willing to go to bat for Ethan but she’s also not willing to go down with his alpha ship. I appreciated the hell out of that.

In the end, it was all handled realistically, respectfully, and quickly. Though when I say quickly, I mean quick in words and chapters not so much in time as there are a couple of time jumps.

I definitely recommend this book. There were plenty of sweet and funny moments to go around, a cast full of characters to bring the story to life, and splashes of drama and angst. It’s everything I want a Contemporary Romance to be, and I so look forward to seeing what Tyler King comes up with next.  

You can check out this great book for yourself here: Amazon