Pretty Dogs (Dirty Strays Book 2) by Riley Nash

Pretty Dogs is the second entry to Riley Nash's Dirty Strays series and will rip your heart out and put it all together again. A hugely emotional story with two men struggling through life but doing it together and wanting that forever.

From the blurb:

It’s hard to imagine dating when I secretly share a bed with my best friend every night. When we can barely spend an hour apart. When he’ll kill anyone who tries to touch me.

We finally escaped the trailer park, but maybe we weren’t ready for freedom. My best friend Beck doesn’t know how to leave the gang he’s always known, even if it costs him his life. And I don’t know how to find my purpose and confidence as a trans man.

We’re too lost in our fears to see what’s right in front of us. But when I almost lose him, it only takes five words for us to fall: I heard about a game.
I run. He hunts me. And if he catches me… there are no limits in the dark.

Daylight is a different matter, full of the ghosts of everything we’ve lost. Until we stumble across someone who needs us, who forces us to take the broken pieces of our pasts and put them together into something strong. The courage it takes to become who we were all along.

A best friends to lovers romance featuring a trans MC, opposites attract, possessiveness, and primal games. Contains mature themes, please use the look inside feature to view a content advisory.

SNik's Review:

Second in series (Dirty Strays), but can be read as a standalone. Best friends to lovers. Hurt/comfort. Found family. Transgender representation. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Dallas is everything to Beck. If only Beck could find the strength to leave the gang he works for and believe that he can be everything to Dallas. Every day Dallas feels the support and love of Beck, even though he struggles with his body dysphoria, Beck never makes Dallas feel anything other than wholly himself and he always feels something bigger than love for Beck. 

These two best friends were so emotionally tied to each other, beautifully devoted, viciously protective, and willing to sacrifice anything to be with each other. 

I appreciated the ease with which their relationship turned intimate, and how special their connection was in friendship and as lovers. 

The author’s heartbreaking writing and beyond romantic confessions between Beck and Dallas made me cry. Pretty Dogs was such a fantastic read.

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

Riley Nash is a new-to-me author. I haven't read any of their work until this book. When I read the description, I was immediately pulled in and had to know more. Now that I read this one and got a feel for Riley's writing style, I might try to go and read some of Riley's other work at some point. 

The storytelling that occurred in this book was done so beautifully and you could tell how much cars and research went into each and every topic. The bond that Dallas and Beck have with each other is so beautiful and powerful, not only their bond, but the one they have with Scout and Roman as well is just so special. I enjoyed reading about their special relationship they have with one another and how they each have one another backs. It's just such a powerful bond these men have together. I adored both of the pets that play a part in this story! I won't spoil the other animal that comes about in this book, or how the animal came to be a part of their lives, but what I will say is the animals just added such a sweet aspect to this story. 

Now, as much I loved this story and think it's full of love and found family moments, and sweetness.. which it is! It's not a fluffy book by no means, it's a heavy book with serious subject matter. The way in which those serious subjects were written about was done with such care and attention to detail. You could feel the characters' emotions every step of the way. I was immediately pulled into this story and this book would not let me go. The only time I put this book down was to sleep, if that tells you anything. 

Dallas's character was such a bright light in this story. I loved 'seeing' him grow and build confidence. I also learned a lot from this book, definitely learned some new things that I hadn't known before which I adore when an author can teach me new things in a story. Beck's character was a darker light in terms of the other characters in this story, but that's not a bad thing! He just went through a lot ever since childhood. He's been doing what he has to do to survive, and doesn't know how to be anything else. With help from Dallas and his best friends, he learns how to try to be better, to do better. And the relationship he develops with Calvin is so sweet and pure. I loved reading about those two together.  

I hope Theo eventually gets his own book. I want to learn more about his character!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Pretty Dogs is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.