Over Memorial Day weekend, I finished 3 books and this was one of them. Since this was my first motorcycle club read, I pictured all of the Sons of Anarchy characters in the story. While this book was harsh, it wasn’t in the same realm of SoA at all, but it was definitely a little more than I usually enjoy. Just a warning: the hero, in my opinion, doesn’t treat the heroine very well. In fact, he very much treats her like a piece of property, and while I get that that’s part of the culture, it’s not something that sits with me as romantic. Having said that, I know other readers who would find this to be their catnip.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ajax returns to the home of his motorcycle club, the Deacons of Bourbon Street, after the president of the club and his father figure, Priest, dies in a motorcycle accident. What he finds his Priest’s daughter, grown up and running her dad’s bar. Sophie is torn between loving and hating the motorcycle club life, but she misses her father and struggles with both her loss and her feelings towards Ajax, who she also has mixed feelings for: a long held attraction to him and anger at him for leaving ten years prior, even though her father was the one who sent him and three others away.
This book is the first in a set of four (different authors), and I have to guess that this one was intended to offer back story and set up for an overarching mystery. After hearing a lot about motorcycle club novels and thinking I’d really enjoy them, I’m a little torn on how to feel about this one. The writing is good, but I wasn’t expecting the level of grittiness and the hard edge of the hero. You’d think after watching Sons of Anarchy, I’d know what to expect, but I never thought of SoA as a romance, and I think I might like my romances a little softer.
Sophie was great as the heroine who was both strong and vulnerable and dealing with all of her feelings surrounding her father’s death. I did feel she was a little quick to jump into bed with Ajax, but she also had some history with him, and I guess if you take her independence into account, she can sleep with who she wants, when she wants. What made the book hard to read for me was Ajax. While I think he was probably true to character, I just couldn’t get into the ultra-alpha male thing he had going on. He wasn’t just rough around the edges, he was like a sheet of sandpaper. Though Sophie stood her ground, male characters who dominate with harsh words and berating and “putting a woman in her place” dialogue just don’t do it for me.
Though I suppose there is a hard won romance between the 2 characters, I just wasn’t feeling it, so for me, the Romance Factor is only a 2/5, and that’s because towards the end I finally got some of the emotion and felt like Ajax might actually love Sophie instead of viewing her as property. The Sex Factor, on the other hand, is a solid 5/5. Readers who like it steamy shouldn’t be disappointed. There are many sexy times in this book, made only steamier by the fact that they’re sometimes in public places.
I know there’s a niche for MC romances, and as an objective reviewer, I think this was a good book. However, for my own tastes, I either wasn’t in the mood to read something so gritty or I’m just not geared for this type of romance. I’d be open to trying a few more, probably even in this series because I’d like to see how things pan out, but I’m not sure if this will every be a go-to genre for me.