I enjoy this author’s writing so it was a no-contest that I’d try the new book in her latest series about a car thief and a biker. I didn’t really go in with any expectations, but this book certainly went the unexpected route for me. I wasn’t sure what to think after so many twists and turns, but in the end I was well-pleased with the result. The car culture and biker culture combo were a fantastic backdrop.
Sean Rush grew up hard and tough, he ended up with a juvie record and a stint in the army, and now that he’s out he’s trying to go legit working on cars. The tame life chafes at him which is why he hasn’t questioned or quit the weird set up he has going with the mysterious Ryker of the Havoc MC who visits him in the middle of the night ever so often to give him hard, hot sex and leaves before the morning sun only to send a single red rose with thorns still intact that day. Then the status quo is altered when his best buddy Noah shares that he’s in trouble over his head and needs Sean’s help boosting a car to square things with the local middle guy. This one incident is like the snowball rolling down hill and becoming an avalanche. Sean’s in even more trouble than he can get off on.
When he’s almost killed, the situation with Ryker changes. Ryker becomes a caregiver and protector before finally deciding enough is enough and brings Sean to the Havoc compound. Sean knows things with Ryker are crazy and can’t work, but he still wants to be with Ryker in the meantime. Ryker knows him through and through, but Sean has some pretty big secrets that can tear them apart and they do. Then again, Ryker has his own secrets too. Trouble comes Sean’s way again and he lets it carry him back into the thick of things and away from Ryker. He will protect everyone he cares about the best he can even if it means running.
This one is pure adrenaline from start to finish. There is barely any down time and left me almost breathless as I read. Truthfully, a lot of what goes down in this one is because Sean goes off half-cocked much of the time. It was transparently clear to me near the beginning that he was one hot mess. He was running fast and hard through his life pretty much to avoid stopping to think. He’s dealing with a strong case of survivor’s guilt, PTSD, and emotional trauma caused by some stuff from his younger years. His friend’s carboosting habits and Ryker’s night visits just feed his need for speed.
Because of this, I found Sean’s character and having him as a first person narrator exhausting much of the time. I do not say this because I dislike his character or the story. Just the honest truth. I felt so badly for him and just wanted him to heal. And I wanted him to get a clue. For Real. It took him a long time to get his business together and by that I mean pretty much the whole book so he’s definitely a character you have to have a vast deal of patience with.
Ryker is sort of perfect that way. He is there for Sean and is like this strong building for Sean to storm against, but he doesn’t put up with Sean’s crap. Sean was pretty awful to Ryker, but Ryker saw the diamond in the rough. Ryker wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for Sean which naturally scared the crap out of the guy with big trust and emotion issues. They were pretty passionate as two tough and rough guys can be, but they were also good as partners too when Sean wasn’t freaking out which I confess was much of the time. Personally, I wish they had a few longer calm periods together for the relationship to establish on more than the craziness and passion, but I guess that’s how those two roll.
In the end, it was a fast read that I had no trouble engaging with the storyline or the characters. I would recommend this for those who enjoy m/m romantic suspense or intense contemporary romance.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.