Outcast - Nicole Dykes

Tristan falls in love with his best friend but Hayden isn't sure if he can believe in love when Tristan has never been with a man before and Hayden doesn't deserve love, does he?  F

From the Outcast blurb:


I’m the fun one. The loud one. The overly opinionated one with no filter.
I’ve been unapologetically me since day one, and it hasn’t been easy.
Kicked out of my home when I was sixteen, I chose to be alone rather than not be my true self.
I found my family now and a job I love. I have everything, and yet . . .
I’m still an outcast in so many ways.


I’m not fun. I’m far too quiet. I keep to myself.
I don’t really have a reason for it. I had a loving family who was loud enough for me to fade into the background.
And then, I stumbled into a friendship with the boldest human I’ve ever met.
Beautiful and strong. He confuses me. He challenges me. He makes me want to come out of the shadows and discover who I want to be.
He may have been shunned by his family, but they didn’t deserve him.
Hayden was meant to shine—not to be cast out by anyone. He makes the world brighter, and not even I can resist it.

SNik's Review:

Standalone (but has secondary characters and shared background from some of the author’s previous books). Friends to lovers. Opposites attract. Dual POV. 

Hayden has lived his life unapologetically since he was kicked out when he was 16 years old, he is outgoing and social and when he befriends the quiet and sexy (and straight) cop Tristan, he has to rein in his crush and just focus on being the best friend he can be, even if it means helping Tristan with dating women. 

Over time though Tristan enjoys his time spent with Hayden, he doesn’t want to be around anyone else, and when he confesses his feelings it sparks a lot of insecurity within Hayden who doesn’t see his value and fears losing the friendship. 

I enjoyed that both men have pasts to reconcile and share their fears and thoughts. I especially appreciated Tristan’s wholehearted commitment to Hayden and his willingness to wait patiently for his love to be returned. 

A sweet couple with a fun HEA. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Tatted_book_freak's Review:

As most of Nicole’s fan base was overjoyed with excitement for Hayden’s story, I was just as overwhelmed with excitement for Tristan.  Unfortunately though, I was left wanting more for them both. It may be due to me raising the bar exceedingly high from her previous books, or because of my love for a certain officer, either way, this was not her best work and that’s okay because I still love her! 

๐™„ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™—๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ข๐™š, ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™„ ๐™œ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™๐™ค๐™ญ๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™›๐™ž๐™ญ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ก๐™š๐™›๐™ฉ.

Hayden has never been my favorite character, he’s too needy and overwhelmingly annoying. Lucky for him, Tristan has a tremendous amount of patience and falls head over heels for everyone’s favorite indigent.  Granted his past was absolutely horrible, but he made it out and is doing pretty good for himself. 

๐™ƒ๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™„’๐™ข ๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ. ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™œ๐™ช๐™ฎ๐™จ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง ๐™—๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™. ๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™– ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™„ ๐™–๐™ข, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™„ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™š. ๐˜ผ๐™ก๐™ก ๐™„ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ƒ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ.

Their connection was instantaneous from their initial meeting in Backslide. Their chemistry took them all the way through to the next level. I’ve always loved reading Nicole’s smut scenes, especially when she’s descriptive with their acts. And, she included Halloween, Freddie Mercury, and an adorable German Shepherd!  It was a sweet and enjoyable read though and I absolutely loved catching up with the characters ๐Ÿ˜

Rating 3.5 Stars

Amy_tbs' Review:

“๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’š๐’…๐’†๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’‚๐’• ๐’Ž๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’ ๐’Š๐’„๐’†-๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’Ž ๐’„๐’๐’๐’† ๐’…๐’š๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’Œ๐’†๐’…. ๐‘จ๐’๐’… ๐‘ฐ ๐’„๐’‚๐’’๐’• ๐’”๐’‚๐’š ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐’Š๐’•.” ∼๐šƒ๐š›๐š’๐šœ๐š๐šŠ๐š— 

“๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‘๐’๐’๐’“ ๐’ˆ๐’–๐’š ๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’๐’ ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’” ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐‘ฐ ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’–๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’”๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’”. ๐‘บ๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’“ ๐’‚๐’๐’†๐’“๐’•— ๐‘ฐ ๐’…๐’๐’’๐’•.” ∼๐™ท๐šŠ๐šข๐š๐šŽ๐š— 

๐‘‚๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’ ๐ผ’๐‘š ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘๐‘๐‘™๐‘ฆ, โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘๐‘ฆ, ๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘ฆ. ๐ผ ๐‘™๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘œ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘”๐‘ข๐‘ฆ. ๐ผ๐‘“ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘ข๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘š๐‘–๐‘™๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘š๐‘’, ๐‘๐‘’๐‘œ๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘‘๐‘œ๐‘›’๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘˜ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘˜ ๐‘–๐‘“ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘˜๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ. ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ฆ ๐‘‘๐‘œ๐‘›’๐‘ก ๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘” ๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘’๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ...

Outcast by Nicole Dykes was such a beautiful friends-to-lovers read and I loved everything about it. It was like a gift that keeps on giving! Not only do we get two adorable main characters Hayden and Tristan who are stupidly perfect for each other. We also get Nash and Adrian from Backslide and brief mentions and returns from Rae and Lawson that we first met in the Runaways book. I'm literally crying with happiness right now but don't worry Outcast is a complete standalone and can be read without reading Backslide and Runaways.

Hayden was such a cutie with serious self-love issues and a lot of bravado. The ultimate show the world what you want them to see type of person. Under his larger than life personality laid some horrible misplaced self hatred. His best friend Tristan with his insane sex appeal and ridiculously cute dog manages to break down his defences.

Outcast made me shockingly giddy and gave me major butterflies because seriously these two were so gone for each other right from the beginning and my soppy heart was all for it. I also like that there was established characters in Outcast that offered great understanding and character support for Hayden and Tristan.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Hayden is such a strong character - a survivor  - and Nicole Dykes unfolds his story within this slow burn romance where Tristan learns to accept the feelings and urges of his body, while helping Hayden to unlearn the feelings and untruths that he has to overcome as a survivor of both an abusive parent and a youth spent surviving any way he could.

Both characters are well developed and continue to grow throughout the story, which is well paced and offers both sweet and steamy surprises in this friends to lovers story.  It was nice to see under the surface and really get to know these wonderful characters.

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

Outcast by Nicole Dykes is a beautiful story about characters persevering through trauma. 

Hayden is known by his friends as the fun bubbly one, but deep down he has a lot going on. Yes, he tries to be the fun loving one and brings the joy to different scenarios, but he also struggles with insecurities he has due to his parents and his time on the streets. He can't believe it when Tristan says he loves him, he just can't accept that. 

Tristan is the local town cop who only wears black clothes. Unless Hayden is dressing him up, these two started off as best friends which eventually progressed as more. 

We as readers got to see these characters grow and develop in front of our eyes, they both talk about their pasts and their trauma and they each are accepting of each other. They each have had a rough life/past but both of them are so much stronger since they survived that. This was really well written, there was humor, and playful banter between the side characters, there was an adorable puppy who liked to break out of her fence, and there was serious topic matters that we're discussed and handled brilliantly! 

I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait for more from Nicole. I really hope we can get a side story about Tammy and Tristan's sister. (Pretty please!) 

Overall a really great story that I definitely recommend. A really sweet friends to lovers story. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Outcast is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription