I’m going to start off this review by saying that I think it must be incredibly hard to write a contemporary romance novel about motorcycle gang and get it right. I’d imagine it would be pretty hard to balance being cheesy and being authentic, and while you have to keep in mind that it IS a romance, you also have to remember that these characters are brutal gang members. There’s really only one author that has done it perfectly right, in my opinion (Madeline Sheehan).
Sinning never felt so good…
A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…
I’m going to start off with the things I liked about this book. Firstly, the prologue of this book hooked me instantly. It was probably one of the best prologues I have read in a while. Even though we hadn’t yet learnt River and Salomes stories, the dark and dangerous undercurrent was there, woven through the sweetness and innocence of their first meeting. I LOVED it.
This book did NOT lack originality. I didn’t feel like I was reading the same old contemporary romance. The cult story-line was an interesting idea and you could tell the author had done her research. It really was the best part of the book for me. Being from a country where we really don’t have a lot of this crazy sh-t going on I was just flabbergast at what I was reading sometimes. Man, there are some complete nutters out there! I felt like the description of Mae adjusting to the outside world was a pretty accurate description of how someone in her position would behave.
Styx was an interesting hero, I love an imperfect hero and his speech impediment and how he dealt with it tugged at my heart strings. He had a hard time growing up and was taught by his father, who obviously loved him, how to deal with it in the way they were conditioned to deal with such things within gang life – violence.
“Mae…You need a b-better man. It ain’t me, babe, no matter how much you th-think it is…or want it to be.”
Now….the things I didn’t love so much. It pains me to write this because I AM a Tillie Cole fan but something about this story just felt a little off. A couple of things stand out – A LOT happened in this this book, warring bikie gangs, a crazy ass cult and the love story. Usually this isn’t a problem for me but it just didn’t quite mesh together as well as I had hoped. Almost like it was too many separate things trying to fit together into a story. Maybe it was just me?
Also, the dialogue was a little distracting. I have no doubt that bikers have absolutely filthy mouths but at times it all felt a little bit forced and over the top. I have no problem with this type of thing usually but in this instance I just found it a tiny bit too much.
“For the first time in my life, I feel wanted…like I finally belong. There is nowhere on Earth I would rather be than here with you. You do not cage me, Styx. You make me soar.”
After saying all of that, I did mostly enjoy this story. It kept me hooked until the end and I read the whole thing within a twenty-four hour period. Also it has pretty high ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads so it’s highly likely that others didn’t have the same small issues with this book that I had. I am still, without a doubt, a Tillie Cole fan. I will be looking out for more of her books in the future.
“And just like that. I knew she was it. There would never be anyone else for me.”
WARNING: Contains sexual situations, violence, taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up*
Also -Just want to add a little shout out to our Twitter buddy dreamcatcher @mokotutza for reading along with us! Thanks for reading with me and keeping the Flame induced nightmares away. You made me laugh more than once!