I had the pleasure to read book one in this series and had a really good time with it and I was intrigued by Hawk and his relationship with Booker in that story. When I was given the chance to read Hawk’s own story, I jumped on it.
This is book two and would probably be enjoyed better read after book one, but in a pinch, it would be fine read out of order since the connection to the first book is loose enough.
The story begins with Payton Williams preparing to attend a biker club gathering with her best friend Macey. While she is picking up wine for the party she encounters a lost little girl in the store and her really hot Daddy. Payton loses the power of speech and books it out of the store quick only to find the guy she was drooling over is a member of the club. And he is just as keenly interested in her as she is in him, but Payton likes to take things super slow so she puts the brakes on things after sharing a scorching hot kiss and walks away. No bad boys for her, uh uh, even as she glances back a few times wondering.
Alex ‘Hawk’ James is warned off of Payton by a well-meaning brother who thinks he plans to treat her like a club whore and treat her to his darker tastes, but he’s well aware Payton is special. He plans to treat her special- only her trail went cold until he catches a lucky break and is able to get the girl to see her way to giving him a chance. Well until his nightmare of a one night stand resurfaces full of drama and demanding he let her have time with the daughter she gave up years ago. He’s scared to death that his past already counts against him and he knows that Payton can’t stand drama so he figures its all over before it really begins.
Alrighty…this story didn’t quite get there for me like the last one did. I liked it alright and really wanted something good for this couple, but there were some hitches for me. The story is very character-driven and moves along with few spikes in excitement until well over the half-way point. It wasn’t boring, but my interest grew more intent in the latter half. I struggled with getting into this book at first because I was on the fence about the heroine. She both attracted and repelled me.
Payton comes on strong with her intense attraction to Hawk right from the moment she sets eyes on him, but then she starts playing games and isn’t honest even with herself. Hawk calls her on it, her friends call her on it, but even then she wavers between honest emotions and responses to jerking back and forth between hot and cold. I swear there were times that the guy was darned if he did and darned if he didn’t (I need my space because I’m confused by his honest words, emotions and actions- he hasn’t called me in a few days- guess he doesn’t care-time to pull the plug because its getting real here and I’m chicken-why doesn’t he call- even though this was my idea and my phone isn’t broke). I never find that attractive or fun reading. It was just odd to me that she’s the one acting like she came from a past loaded with baggage and Alex was the level-headed one even with all that he’d been through- and trust me, it was a lot. I’m not saying Alex’s over-protectiveness wouldn’t have been chafing, but then again, is it over-protectiveness when the Russian Mafia’s involved to ask a gal to stay in the house until it is handled? Her ‘my brother taught me to be Bruce Lee and shoot like Annie Oakley’ attitude was fine if the bad guys play fair and let you hit and shoot them. Sigh…yeah, I got a bit annoyed with Payton if you can’t tell.
But, yes there is a but, Payton also got over herself pretty quickly and she had the smarts to see through all the rumors and perceptions of Hawk to the real Alex. He thought he was a bad parent to his little girl because someone made him think it, but Payton loyally told him what he needed to know and it happened to be the truth. She was fine dating a man who came with a child and loved that little girl to death. She also heard him about his awful past and didn’t even flinch about loving him through the dark stuff. Alex’s past got in his way a few times making him push Payton away, but she was generous with her love even though he hurt her. Alex got a little kinky, but for all her dithering in the beginning, Payton was right on board yeehaw with that- a bit more than a slap and a tickle, but not something too wild.
As to the exciting big climax scene, it came quick and hard, but then it was over in a flash. I would have loved to have gotten the switch to Alex’s perspective to have the action more visceral and immediate instead of just Payton’s distant one.
I loved the inclusion of surrounding family and family moments both Payton’s family occasions and Alex’s club family. It was not a romance told in isolation and for that I was really glad.
So, a few bumps, but for the most part it was an enjoyable read that is both sweet and scorching hot in turn. Those who enjoy biker romance at the lighter end of the spectrum will want to try this book/series.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.