Book Review: Ruthless by Gillian Archer

I always read the synopsis of a book before I request it, but by the time I open the book, I’ve forgotten what it’s about. I wasn’t expecting this to be a motorcycle club novel (I had billionaires in my head for some reason). But this book didn’t leave me much time to be disappointed, because it started out strong and kept me hooked the entire time.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A biker gets involved with a woman and has to protect her when she unwittingly becomes the target of another biker. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Worst Date Ever
Right from the start, I really liked this couple, and I credit that with the damsel-in-distress meet-cute. Jessica is trying to end a really bad blind date when the date starts mauling her. Zag, a member of the True Brothers Motorcycle Club, steps in to pull the handsy guy away. Though he doesn’t plan to stick around, Jessica convinces him to let her buy him a drink as a thank you, and they end up in bed together. Though Jessica is interested from the start, it seems like just another one-night stand for Zag, so she doesn’t try to pursue anything.

My Bike is My Anti-Drug
Zag comes off as the cool guy who just goes with the flow and doesn’t really see the need to get involved. But then after their one night together, he can’t forget about Jessica and ends up contacting her to meet up again. Because cool guy or not, she obviously rocked his world.

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Zag and True Brothers club in general are fairly straightlaced as far as MCs go. All of the components of the MC are there, but the edgier and darker elements aren’t highlighted. What is highlighted is the fact that Zag will not, nor will he allow the club to, have any involvement with drugs. His youth was pretty jacked up because of a junkie mother, and he refuses to touch the stuff. When Jessica sees a drug deal go down between one of the True Brothers and a rival gang, she misinterprets what’s going on and tries to break it off with Zag, as drugs are a deal breaker. Instead, Zag ends up making her his old lady in order to protect her from the drug dealing brother who wants to silence her before she can testify against him.

Normal, but Not Boring
Zag is a very tame alpha male an a nice guy. Of course he comes across as a little volatile and hard ass when Jessica’s safety is compromised, but that just added to his appeal. As for Jessica, she might be the most normal heroine I’ve ever read. Her problems are pretty standard: an overbearing mother who wants her to get married and have babies; a friend who is in major disapproval of her choice in men; a job that she finds mediocre but brings in a paycheck. She actually has a cool dad (rare), and she’s pretty standard all around. You’d think she’d be boring, but she’s not. Instead, she’s relateable and likeable.

The Romance Factor
Zag is sweet and Jessica’s struggle with dating a bad boy was endearing rather than whiny and annoying. And when Jessica’s life is put in danger, the emotions from Zag were intense and passionate. 4/5

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The Steam Factor
The sexy times are hot, especially when Zag takes control. It never really gets into sub/dom territory, but there’s definitely a subtle aspect of that kind of play. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Jessica’s two friends have fairly important roles in the book. One I liked, one I didn’t, but I read that the next two books are about them, so I’m excited to see what happens (even with the friend who’s kind of a bitch). I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was solid, the characters felt real, and the drama worked with the story without overshadowing the plot just to highlight how bad ass a biker and his club can be.

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