This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Motorcycle Club Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on April 29, 2019
When the going gets tough and there’s a hollow feeling behind your breast bone and you’re doing your level best to breath through the panic, running is easy, but staying and fighting for love and something to fill that hollow spot? Well… Linc and Mercy are about to find out. After the events and reveals of the last book, I was strapped in for this one to start rough and stay rough for some time. It was dramatic, dirty, and drove me wild. In a good way.
Running on Empty is the third of the Havoc Motorcycle Club series and doesn’t standalone. It follows directly on the heels of the events in book two.
I don’t want to spoiler the series so let’s just say Linc went through the wringer in a horrible capture-torture scenario that Mercy, his lover, feels responsible for. Both had secrets that brought it all on and now both have some serious guilt and anger flying as they see if there is something worth saving in the after math.
Meanwhile, old enemies and new ones ally together and seek to move in on Havoc’s town with drugs, guns, and human trafficking. The ATF, the FBI, and others are operating against them and Linc is still part of that even if he was recovering. Havoc and the government agencies are trying to do the same job, but need to work together because of the strength of those ranged against them. It’s Linc who can be the connector if he’s willing to finally stop running and stand with Mercy for what he wants and needs.
I was prepared for a lot of angst after what was revealed about Linc and Mercy in Linc’s brother, Bram’s book. Good thing, too, because it was exactly that. Most of the book was Linc finding his way after extreme torture and Mercy’s careful hands off presence that was doing a number on Linc. It shook him up, shook him out of his habits, and forced him to confront a lot of things while he healed. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary.
Mercy had his fair share of issues to get on top of and he made mistakes, but, of everyone, Mercy saw Linc crystal-clear and always had. Unlike the others of their friends and family who thought Mercy should be glued to Linc’s side and giving him gentle touches and reassurances, I thought Mercy’s approach was the right one since Linc needed to get past blame, recriminations, anger, self-loathing, and all sorts of dark and ugly thinking before it was healthy for them to have anything physical or resembling a relationship.
See, Linc keeps his emotional walls up and he does it by manipulating situations while doing wild and crazy antics that keep people off balance. I thought it took more strength to wait quietly and take all Linc’s shenanigans than it would have if Mercy had charged in and taken control right away. Linc’s been in the habit of having it both ways for a long time.
Linc acted out a lot in this story. To be frank, he was a brat just like Rush in the first book. That was actually part of the sexual dynamics that have a wisp of D/s going with a Daddy/Bear type and his ‘boy’. It’s mild, but there. I’m not really drawn to brattiness so I tolerate it because I enjoy everything else about this series. There was a serious quantity of dirty, sweaty, kinky sex going on once Mercy took a more hands on approach after waiting Linc out, but it was in keeping with the plot.
The combustible romance was the main event of this book and it took the stage front and center for most of the book, but I liked how that conflict over turf finally culminated with Linc proving to himself that he was back and capable after the torture nearly broke him. He needed to have a big part in the mission and he did. I like where things are at for him and Mercy and the Havoc MC in this one. I am so curious about Vann and a certain undercover ATF agent after that teaser reveal Vann gave about their past.
So, this one was the adrenaline rush that all this author’s books are. Hot and dirty sex, dark and edgy suspense, and rough characters who live on the dark side of the line, but do it with honor and their own brand of duty. If that’s what you enjoy in your m/m romances, pick up the first in the series and let these guys rev you up.
My thanks to Riptide via Net Galley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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