Read Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks Online


BEAUTIFUL CONTRADICTION He didn't paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and strBEAUTIFUL CONTRADICTION He didn't paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs. He didn't paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn't feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn't paint people until he painted Jackson. Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world....

Title : Bleeding Like Me
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 36634015
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 227 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bleeding Like Me Reviews

  • Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰
    2019-05-27 15:02

    "Come away with me and I’ll never stop loving you, or don’t, and I’ll love you then too." Bleeding Like Me is one of a kind and a pinnacle in the M/M genre with it's approach in gang rivalry and forbidden love. I enjoyed the world that Jackson and Evan shared and I adored how their love blossomed through the pages. Unfortunately, I found myself only getting into the story at about the halfway point and had some issues with the plot. _______________Romeo and Romeo“You’re a fucking asshole, you know that?” Jackson groused, getting on his hands and knees. “Am what I eat,”Although I found it confusing at the first couple of chapters to understand what as going on, the aspect of the gang rivalries and the streets only kicked in after the first 15% of the book. But once it did, holy shittt was I on board. I don't think I have ever come across a LGBT storyline that encompasses the world so completely, and especially when that world is unique and not many people write about it. It was written through a narration that was clear-cut wherein the reader could understand 'the hood'. Although, I felt it got tedious at times - It stayed true to itself and encapsulated the world in which the story was revolved around. I think that this isn't meant for just anyone and everyone. I think those who enjoy it will love it to pieces, I stand somewhere in the middle. I loved most parts of it and all in all I'm glad I experienced them. To those who dare to love even in the wake of seemingly insurmountable obstaclesThe Writing“I need a magnum. This thing is strangling me.” He pulled out abruptly, causing the other man to groan at the loss, while he sighed in relief at the release of pressure when he took the condom off. “Do you have one?” “Do I look like a fucking drugstore to you?”Dear Ms. Parks, Your writing sent me on a whole other plane of existence. I laughed, I teared up, I fell in love, I felt. See, this is one of the reasons why I love reviewing books and reading books. Especially when those books aren't generally mainstream and the whole bookdom is reading it. Because you come across rare gems where even if the story was about two rocks buying groceries together on a Tuesday, you would still fucking read it because the writing is fucking amazing. When the author approached me for a review request, my initial response was to check out the blurb of the book and see if it would match my tastes. I then replied with a straight yes because the blurb itself is so beautifully written, I couldn't fathom what the actual book would be like.A surprising factor was the humor! There were some laugh out loud moments in this book and although it was unconventional and heavily sexual innuendo, I found myself grinning like an idiot!“I love you,” Jack told Evan. “Because of the koala?” he whispered with a soft laugh, nuzzling his nose into Jackson’s neck. “In spite of the fucking koala,” Jackson replied, with a huff that made Evan laugh harder.IssuesI had a very small set of issues with the story all in all, but because they were embedded throughout the whole story, I had to figure out my rating accordingly. I found it hard to follow the narrative as everything spoken was shortened. For example, the first person would be cut out constantly. Instead of "I want to go to the bar" - it would be something like "want to go to the bar". I think this was just a personal problem whereby I couldn't get used to the style... Secondly, I loved that there was so much character and relationship development. At the start of their relationship, Jack and Evan put up the whole front of appearing 'masculine' and 'not gay', which understandably could be a stage in their acceptance of sexuality. However I felt like it could be worded out in a more sensitive manner. The last one isn't really an issue as it turned out to be perfect for the book. Although the ending wasn't ideal and flawless - it was the most realistic to the story. I struggled to figure out how the ending would be handled because of the conundrum of both the boys being in rival gangs. But the author approached it in the most realistic way and I loved that it was done so like that. I may have cried a little during the end. #notevensorry

  • Shin Mon Thway
    2019-05-25 21:51

    Ok .. This is not at all what I expected. But I loved it!!! 😍 It was really good, emotional and beautiful. In my opinion, contemporary and regency romances are the most difficult to write because you need to get the facts right. It’s much easier to write omegaverse, fantasy, imaginary or alternative universes since they give you much more room to be creative and manipulative with the facts. And I thinkRiley Parks nailed this contemporary crime romance novel. 😌 I still can’t believe this was a debut novel .. I mean it was really fantastic! 💙 Now, let’s get to the actual reviewing. 😁 Evan, been homeless for years and recently joined a street gang as the last resort to survive. Although he’s just 21, he’s been on his own for almost a decade. Sleeping in public places and shelters, eating shitty food, always desperate for drugs .. he finally decided to join Killer Klownz with the help of his younger brother who’s already affiliated. Being in a street gang can fulfill most of his needs, a place to sleep, a shelter, food to fill his stomach, drugs that he desperately loves … except one thing, a nice tight arsehole to fuck whenever he wants. 😜 As you can guess, you can’t really be an out and proud gay while being in a gang. Gangs mean drugs, sex with beautiful women and violence. So he did what every desperate closeted gay guys do in Chicago .. Go to the infamous Humboldt park and find an anonymous willing partner. Jackson, an important member of “Dem Demonz” and the best cocaine distributor of the south side. Been streetsmart for years and have survived the ruthless street gang world of Chicago for more than a decade. A true experienced and capable street veteran. He has almost everything he needs, money, power, influence, a nice comfortable life and a very beautiful girlfriend of 6 years whom he has no interest or affection. He has been known for years that he likes guys and he likes to get fucked. 😉 But that doesn’t make him gay .. it’s just sex. An itch he needs to scratch every now and then. 😁 And what better way to scratch that itch by going to a public park and find a nice, willing, hard cock to drill his arse. 😂👏 Without knowing they are from the rival gangs, our two protagonists met in the Humboldt Park in the middle of the night on a fateful day. The sexual attraction is instant, palpable and electric. One has a very thick and long and red 9 inches cock and one has a pink pouty magic mouth and a resilient and tight arse. And you want to know what the problem is? That idiot magic cock owner carried no magnum condoms to accommodate his enormous member and the magic mouth owner only had regular condoms. Being very disappointed and just pleasured each other by sucking off, both men went home thinking and pondering non stop “what if”. 😁 And they met again after one week and had the most intense, satisfying and toe curling orgasms of their lives. 😂👏 Although Jackson never repeated his rendezvous with the anonymous hookups, he’s truly hooked to that magic cock and he agreed to meet that magic cock owner again a few days later. And 15 hours to their rendezvous, both men learned that they are from the rival gangs and they are supposed to hate each other to guts and be archenemies. 😁 Jackson knew it’s a terrible idea to still meet Evan after he learnt that he’s from a rival gang. But he just couldn’t seem to control himself. For the first time in his life, he’s truly attracted to another human being. He wants more than just fucks in a public park. And thus, their unique and atypical relationship began. 😌 I love both MCs. I can’t decide which one I love more. I mean both men have baggages .. enormous and deeply rooted baggages. And for Evan, it’s even worse since he’s a coke head. And how Jackson took care of him and made him realize that life is worth living for and fighting for. 😍 He didn’t tell Evan to change his way .. he guided him to see the right way and to realize the life they could have had only if he’s not immersed in drugs. And talk about the epitome of a man who knows how to love! OMG! I love Evan!!!! 😍 Who got himself intentionally incarcerated to be with their boyfriend??? 😍👏 Oh, one Evan plssss!!! 😁 I want a man like that! And again, I’m always wishing I have both organs down there too! Lol! 😂👏 Ok, TMI. 😂 I really really loved how the story unfolded. I mean what do you expect when you read a story about two rival gang members in love? Extreme violence, shooting, killing and drugs and rape. Nope, not at all. The story was focused on the romance and relationship aspect between Evan and Jack and how their love blossom from a bud to a full grown beautiful tree. 😍 I really loved everything about the story. I was quite worried that they weren’t going to get their HEA but how they spectacularly get their merry HEA. Love, loved, and loving itttt!!!! Still can’t get over the fact that this is a debut novel. And I’m really impressed by the research of all those usages and terms of Chicago underworld. So hats off toRiley Parks and keep up the good work gal! ❤️ Now, you officially became my next victim in my never-ending author stalking scheme. 😂👏 Favorite excerpts from the novel: 💗💜💗”That ass. It was firm, thick, and fucking perfect; the definition of a bubble butt.”“It was perfect: as thick as it was long and straight as an arrow. He loved the way it had lain full and heavy on his tongue while he was giving head and how deliciously it had stretched him during the nanosecond it was in his ass.”“And I’m yours. Every fucked-up part of me… yours. Do you know what you’re getting yourself into?” Evan asked.“Loving Evan was both the easiest and hardest thing Jackson had ever done.”“How you’re such a good boy for me, take my cock so nice. How I love you, never loved anybody the way I love you. Can’t wait to fuck you for the rest of our lives.”“Any amount of time with Jackson wasn’t enough, each hour ephemeral.” 5 magic cock, magic mouth and magic arse stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Nazanin
    2019-06-12 20:54

    4.5 "Koala Bear" StarsI’d like to thank my dear friend Dia for recommending this great book to me! Thank you! This story was really good and I’m glad I read it! Those emotions… what I loved about this book was its flawed characters, they were far from the perfect ones but they were perfect to each other. Evan was seventeen When her sister kicked him out and from then he’s been on his own, in streets, parks, shelters, couches. After he joined a gang he finally felt to belong to somewhere but it still wasn’t enough. He wanted to be loved, to belong to someone and he finds what he wants with a random hook up but he doesn’t know that Koala Bear is his gang’s rival.No, it’s not a hate to love story because they never hated each other. From the first you can feel their love and the tension between them. You can feel how they could rely on each other. How they trust each other. They both are each other’s anchor. My only issue was it took me a bit longer to warm up to Evan. Told in dual POV, 3rd person. It’s well-written and well-paced. You can read it as a standalone novel. It was my first read by this author but definitely won’t be my last! All in all, I loved it and hope you enjoy it as well!

  • Dia
    2019-06-15 21:09

    5 big starsIs this a debut book? Because it surely didn't feel like it. It was amazing and I am extremely happy I chose to read this one, even if I've added it recently to my to-read list and only out of curiosity.The blurb is telling one story and when you dive into this book you feel you've read the wrong blurb. At least that's how I felt. But somewhere in the middle of the book it started to make sense.Both main characters are pretty tough. They have sad pasts and now are parts of rival street gangs. When they meet for the first time, they have no idea who the other is. And one single hot encounter changed their lives forever.I absolutely loved the writing! I got pretty invested into the story. I thought they were super hot together. This book has the hottest sex scenes and there's a lot of them. Not complaining about it though. At all. And this author surely knows how to make us fall in love with her characters. Their love story wasn't over the top surprising, but as you turn page after page real fast, you just want them together and hope they won't get caught. Well it wasn't like they were super careful, but that's not the point.We get some crimes, fights, blood and drugs, but the story is focused on the development of their relationship. The first half of the book is mostly about them giving into temptation and accepting they can't stop even knowing they can die if they got discovered. What they had, first the burning hot attraction and then the super deep love was so new for both of them and the secrecy added a little spice. At some point I got on the edge of my seat and hoped they'll make it together. And the end didn't disappoint, even if I would have wanted just a little more angst.Overall this story was a very pleasant surprise. I fell in love with the writing. It was light and unexpectedly sweet at times. I usually hate too much sweetness, but here I loved the characters and their banter, their messages, their reactions to the other. I can't wait to read more from this new author!

  • Lyn
    2019-06-14 20:05

    4.5 starsThis had a shaky start for me. There’s an introduction of the two gangs and some of the members before Evan and Jackson meet. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry at first between the two. When the focus of the story is shifted to their relationship development, I’m blown away. The way these guys love each other is intense and desperate. To see how Jackson goes from being this tough asshole towards Evan to a loving and protective boyfriend is EVERYTHING. And to see the length that Evan goes to be with Jackson is jaw dropping.I loved the writing. The dialogue felt authentic for gang members. I loved the fact that even though these guys love each other to distraction, their personalities didn’t change. To everyone else, they were still bad asses. Especially Jackson, he is all gangster, death and violence don’t phase him. I wasn’t ready for the ending. I wanted more. So maybe a novella? Please?

  • Jan
    2019-06-11 21:41

    I'm afraid I went a little wild with the gifs because inspiration.Very refreshing story line. Never read anything like that. Two badass motherfuckers start to hook up without knowing who they were. By the time they found out it was already too late. They didn't want to give up on all the feels they provoked in each other. Good feels, something both guys never had before. "Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish." Now, that put me through the wringer. At certain point I thought the guys were getting too bold or better saying, careless. The feeling that they would be caught at any time almost drove me mad.Roll eye moment and big spoiler (view spoiler)[The time they spend together in prison was "Walt Disney style" too good and that will be my only niggle because really, 2 years in prison couldn't go that smooth. (hide spoiler)]Tough guys and rough sex, a flaming combination! So freaking hot!Proceed with caution :(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Karla
    2019-06-11 15:55

    5 for life stars! Loved this book so hard! Couldn't have chosen a better book to finish the year one of the my favorite for sure. "Bleeding Like Me" starts with Evan been initiated into the Klown Killerz gang and three minutes was all it took for his life to change. Soon after on a random hookup meets Jackson who belongs to Dem Demonz, his gang's rival. I enjoyed the way this story started with a little background of Evan's and Jackson's gangs, how they came to belong to them which was sad since it was all about survival. I loved these guys right from the start they had this sexy chemistry and the fact they couldn't be open about their sexuality and sworn enemies only added a delicious danger every time they met. They're personalities couldn't have been more different from each other, Evan who's passion is to paint and its all about surviving and doing whatever he has to do to make it. My grouchy sexy Jacks, is all about loyalty to the DDz and his brothers meeting Evan was something he didn't know he needed or wanted till it happened. The pace of their relationship was perfect, with each encounter I felt their passion and don't get me started on their texting that had me smiling. Another thing I liked was how the focus of the story was about the two of them regardless of the gangster life surrounding them it was Evan and Jacks world and admitting to each other their feelings and fighting their own demons to be together. Overall the story kept me captivated some parts had me nervous but there was never a dull moment. The banter was sexy sweet and funny at times and the writing was so awesome I was totally impressed. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. ❤️

  • Janie
    2019-06-19 16:54

    1/19/18 Started a reread of this today even though I JUST read it. I recommended it to a friend though and wanted to read it with her and some other friends doing a BR. I loved this just as much if not more than the first time I read it. The love they have for each other is so pure even though their surroundings are anything but. For anyone that is a fan of MM romance, I recommend you read this. ORIGINAL REVIEWAll of the stars for this one. Sometimes you come across a book that for whatever reason is just pure perfection. That was this book for me. From page one, I was hooked. This book is so unique in that it’s two MCs are not ones I’ve ever read about before. I felt like I was part of their world for the time I was reading it. Jackson and Evan have both lived tough lives. Both grew up in tough circumstances and never really felt love before nor have they ever loved. Jackson is pure badass, he’s loyal and takes care of those around him. . Evan is a badass too but he also lived his life selfishly and can barely take care of himself. Watching these two learn not only to love but be vulnerable to another person in a world where vulnerability gets you killed, was a beautiful thing. And the sex scenes 🔥🔥🔥 These two were smokin’ hot together. Neither of them ever going back for seconds in the past and now they can’t stay away from each other is hard for both of them. The sex scenes are plentiful but they weren’t gratuitous. They worked for this story. And the move that Evan makes towards the end blew my mind. It was selfless and crazy. But Jackson was worth it. The epilogue was good but I NEED more. I didn’t want this book to end so Riley Parks if you could even give us a novella further into their future it would be greatly appreciated lol. Ok I’m done fangirling. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

  • Barbara➰
    2019-05-30 17:45

    Opposite sides of the street. Opposing gangs. One maroon, blue and white. The other black, gray and white. KKz and DDz. Enemies with no common ground. Expect one. One that could get them both killed. Out of that one common thing, comes something they both need…desire…crave. Love.Jackson is this street tough guy in a relationship with a woman he has no feelings for. He has an image to uphold and she’s the perfect cover. But he fills his forbidden desires in the darkened cover of the park. This is where he meets Evan. “He didn’t want to be like this, be gay or whatever. Enjoying getting fucked was one thing, but it was entirely different to want something more than that from a dude.”~JacksonEvan has his own demons he struggles with. He too, has an image he must maintain. Really all he wants is a bed and a roof over his head. He’ll do whatever he needs to do to make that happen, including joining a gang thanks to his brother. But he has desires too. When the two connect, neither can forget.“It was crazy how Jack was able to fulfill Evan in ways he’d never imagined. He couldn’t fathom anyone else being able to do the same.”~EvanWhat a way to end the year! I wanted to make it last but couldn’t stop reading. Now, I’m not going to lie. It took me three times for this book to “stick”. I wasn’t quite grabbed at first with all the gang stuff. But as they say, third time’s the charm and when Evan and Jackson meet, I was hooked. I swooned. I love it when a book makes me swoon.“Evan ached for his lover when they were apart and slowly healed when they were together. He hoped he mended Jackson, too—sutured the cuts and gashes that his hard life had left on him. His boyfriend made Evan want to be better, made him want to be everything.”~Evan“Loving Evan was both the easiest and hardest thing Jackson had ever done.”…“He’d take a hard life with Evan over easy shit any day.”~JacksonThese two men are well older than their ages. Life has been hard on them. They see no other way out. I had quite a bit of anxiety while reading because I had no idea how it was going to end. I wanted, no NEEDED, these two to get their HEA. They deserve it. And what Evan did for Jackson? Who ever loves that hard? *swooning for the thousandth time*Now, you do have to extend your belief a little. But me, I read for the romance. There were things that were probably not that realistic but, I think the author did an amazing job. The writing was on point. I have a hard time believing this is her debut novel. I will definitely be stalking her and I look forward to more. And while we get an epilogue a year out, I would love something in the future for these two. They deserve a good life.“Want every inch of you,” he admitted, clicking his tongue and smirking at the offended look on Evan’s face. “Talking everything—head to your toes, man. Want it all.”~Jackson“Going to give it all to you,” Evan promised..”❤️

  • Trio
    2019-06-21 13:42

    Bleeding Like Me is a captivating and compelling story by debut author Riley Parks, and I’m enchanted. Yes, it’s a romance, but there’s so much more going on and Parks put me through the ringer as I watched these rival gang members infiltrate each other's lives. Reading through Bleeding Like Me transported me into another world, and when I reached the end I scrolled back to the beginning and started it again.This is a hard review to write without using spoilers, and at best a difficult one for me to write period. There is so much emotion, action and tension, plus anticipation it’s almost impossible to put into words everything this story evokes. I never knew what was going to happen next or how Riley Parks would ever bring these guys through it all to get their happily ever after.I love a dark romance, that excruciatingly wonderful feeling of dread and trepidation, and Parks builds this story perfectly. Rival gang members, Evan and Jackson hook up in a park on the west side of Chicago because, in Evan’s words, both have “too much to lose if his proclivities saw the light of day.”Their initial attraction is purely sexual, but as they get to know each other their connection deepens. Parks does a wonderful job of creating two distinct characters and letting their unique traits unfold. Evan’s got a soft side, he’s an artist with a sense of humor, and he’s cocky with self confidence. Jackson is outwardly cold and ruthless but he has a beautifully submissive side and longs to be taken care of. I loved watching these two men come to grips with their committed relationship, reeling from the unfamiliar feelings of desire and affection and embracing everything that comes with it.I thrilled at all the twists and turns in Bleeding Like Me and the way Riley Parks builds Evan and Jackson’s journey up to the perfect ending. I’d love to know what’s next for these men and I sincerely hope this is the first in a series. Regardless, I can tell by the wide range of themes and emotions Parks explores so nicely that she has a wealth of stories to tell. Where Riley Parks goes after this I can only imagine, and I can’t wait to follow along!

  • Bev
    2019-06-20 21:51

    Wow! This was phenomenal. I saw a couple of my GR buddies had read and 5 starred the heck out of this one so I dived in. Although it's a gorgeous romance between two very alpha, badass gangsters from opposite sides of the fence, it's so different from all the other run of the mill romances out there. I absolutely LOVE how they slowly fell for each other and once they were in ... be still my beating heart. What Evan did towards the end of the book blew me away. I was stunned when, on going to check for other books by the author, I discovered this is her debut. What? Debut? Never in the world! Fantastic writing, genius plot, characters I didn't want to say goodbye to .... I could go on and on. I seriously can't wait to see what's next from this talented author.This one is so good it's the first on my 2018 favourites shelf.

  • Anja
    2019-05-25 18:44

    4.5 stars!What a ride! It took me a little to get into it at the beginning because there was some gang related talk that I had to read over a few times but boy am I glad I stuck with it. As soon as Evan and Jackson met, I felt the sparks between them! They were soo hot together, their sex scenes scorching! But they were also incredibly sweet, loving and completely obsessed with each other! Like really! Normally you'd think it's too much but with these two it worked and the connection they shared just made it believable. Evan and Jackson's relationship was intense and that's what kept me glued to the pages. I love me a sexy, intense, obsessive and probably unhealthy relationship :D and Riley Parks did a good job with Evan and Jackson.Bleeding Like Me was a pretty emotional read and it deals with some tough subject matter. Gang life, murder, drug addiction but amidst all those things there was Evan and Jackson's love. Those two would literally do anything for each other. While there was a HEA for our two heroes, I'd love a sequel, I feel like there's still so much to tell.My only complaint is that while there was much talk about the gangs, in the end, not really a lot happened with them. Which is also another reason I'm hoping for a sequel, especially with the way things ended there's potential more.All in all, this was a great, intensely emotional read and a very good debut for author Riley Parks. Highly recommended!

  • Laxmama
    2019-06-23 18:44

    I loved this book, from the beginning I could not put this down and I put everything off to finish reading. The way these guys met, the push pull, their lust/attraction which led to more was addicting to read. Both the MC’s were so far from perfect yet they worked so well, the character growth felt real as well as their connection. I want more and definitely more from this author.

  • Melanie A.
    2019-06-25 20:02

    5 AMAZING STARS!! Kids in his neighborhood grew up ready to piss their potential away at the hands of drugs and crime. I LOVE books that take you into another world and that's exactly what happened here. I was transported to the gritty streets of the South Side of Chicago to a world filled with violence, addiction, gang allegiances, and alpha males. But the setting wasn't the story, because Bleeding Like Me was definitely a love story, one that was so well-written and completely captured my heart.Twenty-one year old Evan has been on his own for a long time. Without anything to keep him grounded, he's slipped into an empty existence of constantly hustling for his next fix. His only consolation in life... Through his art, he constructed a world full of happiness and love, a place so contradictory to what he knew. His paintings allowed him to live unapologetically. To walk down the streets into structures he built, knowing that they'd keep him safe. The story opens with his initiation into the gang his brother belongs to - he sees an opportunity to belong somewhere and he takes it.Twenty-three year old Jackson is a veteran member of a rival gang. He's hard, ruthless and he takes absolutely no bullshit from anyone. Their first meeting catches them both off guard, especially Evan: This hot motherfucker was clearly a power bottom, a fact that had Evan's cock standing up to take notice. The beauty of this story lies in these two wonderfully flawed and damaged characters. Their relationship may begin with explosively hot sex, but it soon becomes so much more, and the intimacy that builds between them left me breathless. Despite having so much against them, they fight for each other and hold on with everything they've got.Bleeding Like Me is a story about finding hope in the most unexpected of places, and how it makes you re-evaluate your life and everything and everyone in it. One of my favorites this year! I can't recommend it enough.

  • Elsa Bravante
    2019-06-11 21:45

    Evan y Jackson son miembros de bandas rivales, eso no impide que se enamoren, pero sí provoca que su camino esté llene de obstáculos. Pues sí, Evan y Jackson son miembros de bandas, entiendo que de una parte conflictiva de Chicago, con backgrounds familiares complicados, un mundo difícil que les obliga a endurecerse. Entiendo todo esto, pero desgraciadamente no ha servido de ayuda para que llegue a entender a los personajes o para que me gusten. Ambos son desagradables, desconsiderados, unos asesinos, ladrones, venden droga, se aprovechan de las mujeres, las tratan mal... No creo que se romantice el uso de la violencia en el libro, pero no creo en que todo sea perdonable, yo no he sentido aquí que ellos se rediman, por muy enamorados que estén.Puedo dejar a un lado el hecho de que los personajes no sean objeto de mi devoción, siempre he abogado por los protagonistas imperfectos. Sin embargo, la historia no ha ayudado nada, al contrario. Desde el momento en que se conocen hasta la última página, nada de lo que ocurre me parece mínimamente creíble y no lo he podido pasar de largo, por mucho que sea ficción. Dos chicos jóvenes con una vida durísima y que esconden su sexualidad tienen un primer encuentro, bastante desagradable y poco erótico para mi, y de repente sienten una atracción insoportable, ¿por qué?, en ningún momento entiendo la razón. A los dos o tres encuentros empiezan a tener sentimientos el uno por el otro, ¿por qué? son desagradables entre ellos, solo hablan de sexo, no entiendo el punto de unión, ese momento en que nacen unos sentimientos. Eso sí, por el sexo no sufráis que fucking y ass tenéis todo el que queráis, meh. Y así va pasando su relación, no veo la razón por la que uno se siente atraído por el otro excepto en lo físico. Y de repente, se quieren, y de repente, los I love yous vuelen en dos personalidades como las suyas, parece que los personajes han sufrido una lobotomía en lugar de enamorarse. Pero no solo comprender y sentir su relación me parece problemático, todo el plot, fundamentalmente al final, está en la línea del absurdo (view spoiler)[ la adicción de Evan, los dos coincidiendo en la cárcel (rolling eyes), ese final donde se van felizmente de Chicago, ese epílogo tan tan tan rolling eyes(hide spoiler)], ha habido momentos en que parecía que Reservoir Dogs había conocido a Candy Candy, le ha faltado cocherencia a lo que contaba.Creo que es el primer libro de la autora, no me ha gustado, no tanto la forma de escribir como la historia, creo si hubiera ido en otra línea lo habría disfrutado más porque ha habido momentos muy dulces.

  • Tess
    2019-06-23 20:49

    This one took me a little longer to determine the rating than usual. Whilst reading other Favourites such as T J Klune's Into This River I Drown or Jaclyn Osborn's Axios: A Spartan Tale I had such an emotional reaction that I could pick them as faves instantly. However, Bleeding Like Me was so thoroughly enjoyable, hot, edge-of-my-seat and full of awesome characterisation that I can safely say it's a new Favourite.Our two MCs are in the form of a massive, hulking, sweet, lovable power bottom Jackson (a.ka. None of Your Fucking Business) and fiery redhead, freckled, slightly unhinged lovable Evan. We meet the latter first as he's being violently initiated into his new gang, Klown Killerz. Evan has spent the last number of years homeless and is enjoying his new opportunity to be a part of a new family and (albeit unsafe) home. Evan has been fucking guys for years yet only just ventures out to a local public park known for its... going-ons. This is where he finds None of Your Fucking Business and (almost) gives him the best root of his life. Jackson has been with Dem Demonz for 10 years, in which he's gotten himself established firmly. He's had a (beard) girlfriend for 6 years yet only has sex with her when he's so drunk he can't see straight. In his teen years he discovered Butt Stuff and has never looked back. Although both guys have many reasons not to, they both return to the park for each other. From there an unsuspecting forbidden love forms between these two that is beautiful. The sex between them is frequent and steaming! Hints of Jackson's secret want to fully submit to a man was very interesting yet not fully explored. While I can understand he struggled with not only having sex with another man but also being a bottom, those moments of true submission were great and if there ever was to be a sequel or novella I'd love to see more of it. Both MCs have a whole heap of internalised-homophobia mostly due to their environments containing unsavoury characters. There are multiple slurs (from the MCs and to them) throughout the book but are perhaps necessary to understand what they have to deal with. I wish we could've had a longer epilogue to show Jackson and Evan in their HEA and I definitely think it could've been a little longer going from fucking to in love as this would be an incredibly new experience for them. (I had to buy this off Smashwords in USD$ because it wasn't available on the AU Amazon site but it was definitely worth it!)

  • Tammy
    2019-06-02 13:41

    So happy I did not miss out on reading this AMAZING book!! The chemistry between Evan and Jackson were off the charts!💖🐨💞

  • Lily
    2019-06-11 15:03

    HOLY HOTNESS!!Jackson and Evan are dirty, dirty boys, and I'm not complaining at all.If you're looking for a ridiculously hot book, look no further, this book is it. Just don't make the mistake I did and read it on a train, that could be a little awkward. Trust me, find a nice private spot, if it's close to a shower even better (you might want to cool yourself ;)), and only then read this. Believe me, the experience will be much better.The story is focused on Jackson and Evan, two men from rival gangs that start hooking up without knowing who the other is. By the time they find out, they can't stop. At the beginning, it's just the sex, but later on they start have feelings for each other, deep feelings they have never felt before.At that point, they are not ready to let the other go, even though they know that they must keep it a secret. You see, if someone from their gangs find out, they are pretty much dead. But it's hard living in a lie, and as the story progresses, they have to decide what's more important to them.I loved the way the author described the behavior of the two MCs, because it was done in such an unapologetic way. They curse, they fuck, they steal, they do drugs, and they kill. But that's just who they are, and that's what they have to do to survive. They are not the "good" guys, but that's okay, you'll still root for them and hope they find a way to have a better future.Some stuff that bothered me a little:- The beginning was a little slow for me, I didn't really get into it until Jackson and Evan met.- Major spoiler (view spoiler)[I think the whole prison part went a little too smoothly, and I was suprised how easily they ran away after that, I expected more gangs conflict.(hide spoiler)]Other than those things, I think that this is a highly enjoyable story. The MCs have incredible chemistry, and besides hot sex, they also had some really tender moments that brought a smile to my face. Recommended!~ Also posted here ~["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • ~Kristin~
    2019-05-26 21:45

    4.5-5 StarsThis book is almost as addictive as the drugs in the book. I'm not always up for a thug story, but when it's told well and you see the heart behind the harden exterior, I'm all in! This is one of my favorite so far this year...I know it's early but I bet it will still be near the top at the end of the year.

  • Alex
    2019-06-06 19:54

    I was really not expecting that.I expected angst, dark. I mean gay rival gang members falling in love... And from the beginning of the book I was sure I was right... But then. It got all sweet and emotional and about True Love. It just made me swoon...So. Evan and Jack. 21 and 23. Evan just got recruited by the KKs. He's not really into that life but he's been living on the streets for 4 years after his sister thrown him out of the house, so he's thinking 'Why not?'. His brother's already in there and at least now he has a bed... Evan was... Uurgh. I loved him. An artist, who's giving up on most things and can't fathom how someone would like him, love him. Always expecting to fuck up and be thrown... He's an addict. Cocaine is his True Love. Until he met Jackson...Jackson is one of the head of the DDs, the KKs 'ennemies'. He, on the other hand, is really serious about this life. He commit to the gang at 14 when he and his sister fled the house because their father assaulted her. He wanted to protect her and so he did what he had to do!I thought at first it would be difficult to like Jack. He's hard. And the way he is at first with Evan was everything but nice but he totally won me over the more the story went on... The man is such a romantic. Such a giver. He would do just about everything for Evan.So, yeah. The story completely shift from the world of gang members to the bubble of love between Evan and Jack and how they slowly are falling in love and overcome everything to be together.I was also NOT expecting the ending. I was wondering how they would manage to be together... Well that my friends is TRUE LOVE! It's hard to believe this is a first book from Mrs Riley Parks. The writing is really good and the story was amazing.Definitely will follow her and hope that we will hear more about Evan and Jack living their HEA

  • haletostilinski
    2019-06-25 15:55

    4.5 wowed stars!The minute I read the blurb for this book, I was hooked. As soon as I finished my last book I was like "buying this one now 'cause I have to read it!" and then I basically couldn't put it down from the very first page. This had the romance tropes in it that I was dying to sink my teeth into - two MC's in rival gangs, meaning their romance would be "forbidden" and them having to hide it, wanting it to be casual but unable to help falling in love. Ahh, music to my ears (or eyes? I guess lol). From the very first time that Evan and Jackson meet, they have a connection, a strong connection, and I was flipping through the pages waiting for them to meet again. Their excitement with each other got me excited to read about them together. And yeah, Evan does have a cocaine addiction throughout most of this book. It's tough to read, because while any addiction is hard to see someone have and go through and (hopefully) overcome, I find drug addiction to be the worst. Not that alcohol isn't dangerous, it is, and it is definitely the second most dangerous addiction to me, but drugs...yeah hardcore drugs are dangerous shit. I'm surprised Evan never OD'ed. But like Jackson says, Evan is close to a "functioning" addict. Doesn't mean he's not an addict though. I mean, you see the effects of the drugs in him in one scene where he's so high that he doesn't stop (view spoiler)[choking Jackson during sex when he should have, and Jackson passes out. And what happens after might have been able to be prevented if Jackson was conscious. I'm not talking about anything happening to Jackson, just that someone discovers them together (hide spoiler)]. I hate that, I hate drugs, but so many people get addicted to them, especially in that life. So while realistic, still hard to read. My heart broke every time Evan drew a line of cocaine. *sigh*But, eventually (view spoiler)[he kicks the habit when they're in prison, and after he and Jackson get to as close as a mundane, but happy, life as they can, he's clean. But I like to think he sees a therapist/gets some more professional help in that time, especially for when I'm sure his cravings are high. Because addiction is a life long struggle, so I hope he manages it and the potential pitfalls well in their happily ever after. Since it is supposed to be their HEA, I'll imagine he does :) (hide spoiler)]. Anyway, the story was exciting, I was up well into the night trying to finish this. The only thing I would have liked, honestly, is Evan hitting a rock bottom of sorts so he would have really, truly chose to kick his habit. Yeah, he wants to, especially for Jackson, but I feel like he stops at first mostly because he'll be in a place where he can't get any. Eventually it's for himself and Jackson and their life together, but at first? Not so much. I kinda wanted a scene where the cocaine makes him do some stupid shit, or he takes too much, something, to kick him in the ass and get his head out of said ass, because I never felt like Evan truly wanted to kick his drug habit enough.But aside from that small niggle, I loved everything about this story. These two had insane chemistry, and I loved how they were basically tough assholes who put on a front with everyone else but each other. With each other, they could be soft and sweet and loving, and I loved that. I love that too, when one or both characters are hard asses most of the time, but with each other they melt. <3It's a little crazy what Evan does to be able to see Jackson (view spoiler)[during his two years in prison. Getting thrown in there himself for almost the same amount of time? Wow, now normally that would be something I'd consider unhealthy...and it still kind of is, but it also kind of isn't. Because with Evan's addiction...and being without Jackson, the love of his life, for two years...I think If he hadn't gone in there he would have probably eventually OD'ed on drugs. I feel like he would have drowned himself in them without Jackson around, without any support system. And phone calls every...what, once a week or so? Wouldn't have cut it for Evan, I think. So in the end, I feel it was a good thing for these two. (hide spoiler)]So yeah, loved this one, a very good debut book from a new author. I very much recommend this :D

  • Jana
    2019-06-15 21:44

    okay what is this liquid coming from my eyes?I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!it wasn't anything what i expected and i put away reading this for so long, but it is amazing.the characters, the language, the plot- everything. I don't usually rave about books but this is top 10 for sure!!!

  • JustJen
    2019-06-02 14:48

    I’m a sucker for these types of stories. Men who fall for each other before realizing they have no business being together but somehow find a way to make it work. These guys sucked me in right away. Both are members of rival gangs. Both men are hiding their sexuality for obvious reasons but meet one night when looking for a random hookup, neither knowing anything about the other. Jackson is a bit higher up in his gang, with Evan being a newer member recruited by his brother. Both are in the life though they both ended up their due to their own sets of circumstances.When the initial hookup doesn’t pan out, the blazing attraction draws them back for more. They end up breaking their own rules in taking things further until there are actual feelings involved. By this point, when they find out who each other actually is, it is pretty much too late to turn back. They commence with their relationship sort of helping each other out on the sly, but things start to close in on them. Evan is addicted to the drugs he sells, though his addiction to Jackson is stronger and he knows he has to quit – it’s a fine line though between how much Jackson can push for it and how much Evan can actually do on his own.Things really go south when they are almost discovered and one thing leads to another landing Jackson in prison. These two were a bit surprised by their feelings for each other, and that played a big factor later on as they were forced into separation with the gang issues still looming. It was difficult to really see a way out for them, and I was on the edge of my seat most of the book to see if they would eventually be able to make their escape.This was a very well done first book by this author, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next story which looks to be about rival attorneys. If it is as interesting and smooth reading as this one, I have no doubt it will be a hit. As it was, this story tackled some serious issues, but it was very well done and felt extremely realistic. I would also really love to see something else in the future showing how Evan and Jackson are getting on in their new life. Definitely keeping this author on my radar now.Review written for Love Bytes Reviews.

  • Brooklyn Ann
    2019-06-12 13:52

    I usually don't read M/M, but I will if the premise interests me. Two men from rival gangs fall in love? OMG, forbidden romance is my weakness. The atmostphere was pretty dark and gritty... but done in a way that was natural rather than some "gritty" books that are written for shock value.The sex was more graphic than what I'd encountered in the previous few M/M romances I've read, so I know readers who like that will be very happy.The emotional moments were really well done. You can feel for the characters big time.My only quibble is that I would have liked a little more conflict with the rival gang situation, but that's a small issue and won't stop me from picking up future books by this author.

  • Renégade ♥
    2019-06-23 20:10

    4 1/2 stars

  • The Novel Approach Reviews
    2019-06-20 19:49

    It’s always a bit baffling to look around and realize that you seem to be the one and only reader who didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with a book—it makes me jealous too, to be honest—but there were some things, stylistic choices and suspension of disbelief leaps that I had issues with in Riley Parks’ debut novel, Bleeding Like Me, and once I recognized them as my deal-breakers, I couldn’t ignore them. Of course, that doesn’t mean these things are wrong, just that they were problematic for me though may not be for anyone else.Evan and Jackson, the star-crossed lovers in this novel, didn’t know they were in rival gangs when they met by chance in the park one night while on the prowl for some anonymous D. Nor could they have predicted their quick obsession with each other, especially since the sex they were both after barely left the starting block, let alone crossed the finish line. Fate had its own plans for these two boys, though, and while there’s an undercurrent of hostility that flows from Jackson to Evan, based on some initial assumptions, there’s also a spark of something intangible that serves as a backdrop for the connection between them, which owes a lot to insta-lust and their thirst for that D they were looking for when chance brought them into each other’s orbit. I do like a good lust-at-first-sight story, though, and Parks made me want to see where this fixation would lead.There’s a Romeo & Juliet/Westside Story vibe to this novel, but with a raw, contemporary edge, which I liked a lot, giving the plot a nice bite. It is still a romance, though, so there’s some heart to it too, which offsets some of the grittier and darker undertones and satisfies the romance loving reader. The story is set in the south side of Chicago and is centered within and around two rival turf gangs, which is what attracted me to the book; that and the blurb, which is beautifully written (I do wish some of its poetic style resonance had carried forward into the narrative itself, though). The gang colors, the tagging, the jumping in, the violence, the drugs, the misogyny, and the roles some of the members play in the criminal activity associated with gang life are touched on in the story, and I liked that the author captured the brotherhood aspects of it as well. Added to this, the author also made it obvious that the claustrophobia of his life in Killer Klownz was an existence Evan was never going to assimilate to—in spite of his new connections making it easier to feed his out of control coke habit.Jackson, on the other hand, is more deeply ingrained in Dem Demonz. He’s higher up in the food chain, having been involved in the gang for years. When Jackson discovers where Evan’s really from, that he belongs to his own gang’s most hated rivals, there is an undercurrent of friction that threatens to erupt, but rather than this offering up some deeper conflict, it simmers a bit and then is swept aside in what I felt was a pretty simplistic way, the easy answer being to place the onus of the resolution on the sex they both crave. They do share one vital secret that transcends their rivalry, though: being gay gives them good reason to keep their relationship a secret.I do love the premise of Bleeding Like Me, and can see so much evidence of this author’s talent, but there were weaknesses in the execution that caused the story to fall short of being great for me. One of the issue I had a difficult time with was the telling of certain plot and character points that would have worked so much better if shown. There are introspective moments where both Jackson and Evan reflect on their feelings, on how special their quiet, intimate moments are together, which is revealing, no question, but only in a surface way because we don’t get to witness those moments in real time. Sex scenes are great but aren’t a substitute for building a solid and believable relationship, so I wasn’t as invested in these guys as I would’ve been if I’d seen those personal and intimate scenes play out on page. It wasn’t until I’d finished the book that it struck me: Jackson and Evan didn’t have many on-page, meaningful conversations, and I needed their development in action and dialogue, not inner monologue; though, I did appreciate the effort at the deep point of view. Sadly, I just never made those all-important emotional connections I need in order to embrace a story.I also had a difficult time believing that Jackson and Evan could spend so many nights together in each other’s territory while at the same time they feared being caught, which is where my ability to suspend disbelief was tested. Evan resented the intrusiveness of gang life, and having to be accountable to people for his actions, and yet he and Jackson practically lived in each other’s back pockets from what felt like the moment they met. I did find some satisfaction in the end, however, in that, despite both the internal and external conflicts these guys faced, they seemed to be on the right track—romantic mission accomplished—but the note the novel ends on is that this is a story of second chances which lacked the deeper gratification of redemption, and left some of my emotional payoff on the table.I’m not going to beat this to death; while Bleeding Like Me didn’t work for me, all you need to do is have a look at other reviews as evidence that so many readers have loved it. And that’s the personal ownership of reading, in a nutshell.Reviewed by Lisa for The Novel Approach

  • Chrissie Grey
    2019-06-14 21:09

    I think I can say, fairly confidently, that this story incapsulated everything I want in a book. It was the perfect life of crime MM romance and I spent the majority of the time smiling even during the less.. light scenes. The MC's were badass AF criminals who had closet sappy sides so there was plenty of affection between the two and so so.. so many well written sex scenes that kept my attention. Safety was totally fine for me. The MC's are both gay, so any instances where there are OW, it's purely for image sake so that no one figures out that they're gay (Jackson has a girlfriend in the beginning who he's with as a cover but she quickly gets the boot). No sex with OP after their first encounter and no cheating. With that said, this is a book about gang life, so there is a lot of violence, murder, 'offensive language' i.e. Homophobic language and probably plenty of other things that might not sit right with some readers. I myself, found this to be a fairly light read with a super intense and secretly sweet romance whilst still giving me MC's that can do hard ass criminal (all my favourite things) and I know I will be re-reading it again in the new year.

  • Laura
    2019-05-30 16:45

    An awesome debut for Riley Parks. We meet Evan and Jackson, two street tough gang members, forced to live in a world where they can never feel free. Equal parts sexy and serious, you will find yourself enamored by this not so typical love affair. Can't wait to see what Ms. Parks writes next, the voice she gives her characters makes it easy to become invested in their emotional and physical well being.

  • Readlife
    2019-06-09 15:10

    4,5 stars

  • Annie
    2019-06-16 20:57

    4.5 stars- Well, this was a nice surpriseA few years back, I read a lot of motorcycle club/professional criminal romances. I would seek out those that had a realistic level of grit to the story as opposed to the overdramatized plots primarily known for their shock value. Bleeding Like Me reminded me a lot of those books I so enjoyed. There was violence, drug use, rough and offensive slang, and a good amount of criminal activity- but it never felt gratuitous. Rather, it gave this story about two rival gang members who fall in love an appreciable level of authenticity. While there were definitely hints of Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story to the plotline, it wasn’t a tired rehashing of those stories. Bleeding Like Me offered up quite a few unexpected twists along the way, and I was honestly surprised at how caught up I became in Evan and Jackson’s story. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book this gritty, and I’ll admit some of those opening scenes made me a bit uncomfortable, thinking that this wasn’t going to be the book for me. However, I found the characters to have a quietly compelling vulnerability I couldn’t look away from. I loved how the heroes were able to truly be themselves with one another, exposing sides of their personalities and dreams nobody else in their lives got to see. Not only did this enhance the palpable emotional and physical connection between Evan and Jackson, but it also added depth to their personalities and let the reader in enough to become invested in the couple. Though this wasn’t an easy, breezy romance and Evan and Jackson’s journey was rocky, the resolutions were befitting of the couple’s unerring love and the ending was perfect. As far as I can tell, this is a debut novel for the author and, at times, that was evident in the flow and transitions. That said, Bleeding Like Me ended up being a wonderful surprise, so much so that I wouldn’t be shocked if it ends up on my “best of 2018” list come December. I’m definitely excited to see what’s up next for this author because this was a really good debut. Reviewed by Annie from Alpha Book Club