This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on April 7, 2015
With great anticipation and in trepidation, I opened this book and began reading. I wanted Puck’s story in a bad way after his introduction in Reaper’s Stand. He was a minor character, but he was a scene stealer every time that strong, silent and lethal man was there. The air of menace and capability surrounding him couldn’t be ignored. I wanted his story, but I didn’t want to be disappointed if that feeling I had disappeared when he became the main character. Yeesh, I’m such a drama llama. I learned mighty quick that not only did all that atmosphere carry over, but it just got even better. Puck’s story was sizzling! There was enough heat and menace to make me shiver deliciously and that was just the romance.
While this one is the start of a new series, it is a spin-off of sorts particularly when it comes to this book that acts as a bridge between the old and the new. There is an intersection with the Reapers characters and story arc that is minor, but there. If you’re like me with loads of curiosity for even little details that will annoy you if you just dive in without reading the other series. Now that being said, this particular book is a biker romance, but the Silver Valley series promises to step away from the club scene to broaden and include a series story arc about the valley and people who live there. With the Irish mob, the miners, the small town crowd and the bikers all taking up residence, I think things will stay pretty exciting for the rest of the series. I can’t wait, after getting a taste in this book.
So anyway, Puck…
The story opens with Puck and Painter getting out of prison in California and being met by their respective MC club brothers and Presidents. The local Longneck MC is hosting a party for them and showing the Reapers and Silver Bastards that the alliance is strong. Puck has had two things on his mind while locked away- booze and women and not necessarily in any particular order. At the party, he gets drunk and spots a tempting bit of woman that he wants. The sleezeball who owns the host house acts like her pimp, but Puck can get his own woman and he does. The girl seems into him though even through his drunken state of mind he senses something isn’t quite right about the situation. The next morning he realizes the full extent of just how wrong things are and ends up bringing a young, frightened girl home to Idaho with him. And he must remind himself for the next five years that she’s off limits and that he’s all wrong for her especially now that big trouble has come to the valley as the battle begins with the Callighans and the Valley folk with the Laughing Tess mine and everyone’s livelihoods at stake.
Becca grew up hard and fast with a mom who whored herself out to bikers and along with the cruel brutal new step-dad whore out Becca too. Only once did a man care about her and he ended up being a dangerous biker too. Puck Redhouse is her hero, but he also terrifies her.
[quote]The voice belonged to Puck Redhouse…he hauled me all the way back to Idaho and deposited me on Earl and Regina’s doorstep like a lost puppy. After that he disappeared into the night. I saw him around on and off, but the guy was mysterious.
Kind of like Batman. On a motorcycle.
In a weird way, I owed him everything… the guy still scared the sh** out of me, though. Scared me, turned me on, you name it, because if there was one constant derailing to my quest for happy normalcy, it was Puck Redhouse and his stupid, sexy voice.
- 39 Becca from Silver Bastard[/quote]
She was settled into a home with wonderful surrogate parents and now her life is stable as she works and attends beauty school. She is safe from Teeny and her mother though her mother still calls her for money and she is safe because Puck and the Silver Bastards MC keep her that way. Becca knows she’s messed up and her heads not on straight so she both hates and appreciates the lot of them while determined to ignore their existence. Things were fine when Puck kept his distance, but now he’s done waiting. Becca is grown up and he has decided that she is his. Becca never wants to be anyone’s anything again and so they wage a fierce battle of wills as their attraction flairs bright.
This was brutal, dark and gritty- probably a moderate on the scale of biker romance. It was amazing in its complexity. I love that there is always so much more going on and nothing’s easy. Puck and Becca circle each other, lash out and have such explosive moments. They both have huge flaws and have to grow and grow together. I loved the introduction to Silver Valley and the cast of characters there. The battle between the mine workers and the ownership group and the contested battle between the two powers that want control of the mine are quite the exciting story line too. And if all that wasn’t enough, Becca’s past with her mom and Teeny is there festering too. The danger and tension these other two plot lines brought were fantastic and I loved it.
I really loved this story and it rivals some of my favorite others the author has written. Becca will not be one of my favorite heroines, but she’s still well-written and a fiery spirited heroine that earned my respect. Becca had an awful row to hoe and her chances were all of what she made of them. She claws her way to a good life even if it’s not glamorous by any means. She does have a terrible temper and spouts ugly things that aren’t even true when she lets that temper loose. She also crosses to the cray-cray side of the line and doesn’t think straight when her mom gets to her. To give her credit, she owns it afterward. She does match well with the darker, rough and raw Puck even if she denies it up the wazoo. She claims to be scared of him, but its only Becca whose delusioned. Her fears aren’t Puck, but what Puck does to her resolution and emotions. Becca wants to be normal and live normal, but she is so never going to have that after all she has been through no matter how hard she tries. She can’t seem to see that there is a man who wants her just the way she is. Puck needs her love and loyalty, but he needs a woman who can take him like he is since he grew up to a wild nearly lawless life. He’s got the grabsy-mines just like any other biker toward his lady and can be just as oblivious with the caveman routine, but to give him credit, he had it bad for Becca. Her wellbeing and safety were his top priorities. Okay, well top behind his need to strip her naked and slam her against the wall, the counter, the side of a building…well, you get the idea.
The denouement does a fade to black and new scene sort of thing on the focal argument these two have, but honestly, I was tired of Becca fighting what she really wanted so I wasn’t disappointed to miss all the dot-connecting details on her acceptance of a long-term relationship with Puck. She had some real deep-seated fears caused by her past trauma so trust and giving it even to the guy she loved was a doozy for her. Because of her issues, it was good to have that epilogue.
And added to the fab story of Puck and Becca, the author slipped in some extras at the back. There are a few extra scenes and a novella. The novella tells Boonie and Darcy’s story. Like getting dessert after a favorite meal. Muah, Joanna!
So, in the end, I came away more than satisfied. The layered characters, brutal romance and well-paced exciting plot pulled me in deep and engaged me completely. This book was worth the anticipation. I look forward to more Silver Valley and really want Painter and Mel’s story in the Reapers series after some of their antics in this one. For Reaper biker romance fans, this is a must read, but I think those who enjoy gritty, dark passion and anti-hero/heroine types in their Contemporary Romance stories might want to give these a look-see too.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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