Recent Review: Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22094535-running-blind?from_search=true

Blurb

An ATF agent who lives for danger finds what he craves from an outlaw biker.

It’s impossible for a one-percenter motorcycle club member to simply walk away—and no one knows that better than undercover agent Bram, who’s almost killed for trying. His cover isn’t blown—yet—but it’s only a matter of time. The Heathens won’t be satisfied until he’s dead, so he decides to lay low and heal.

But when his younger brother’s disappearance throws a wrench into his plan, Bram ends up in Shades Run, a town ruled by the notorious Havoc MC. In less than twenty-four hours, Bram finds himself at the mercy of Sweet, Havoc’s president, as he throws himself into the undercover role of a lifetime: himself. A man who’s never belonged anywhere, and who will do anything to protect his younger brother.

When finding Linc seems impossible, Bram is torn between Sweet, Linc, and revealing his true identities . . . and there appears to be no way out. Once again, he risks it all trying to save it all. Only this time he’s got no backup to save him if he falls.

Review

(Some spoilery type info – not to ruin the plot though.)

Honestly I had thought SE Jakes had stopped writing.  It’s taken literally FOREVER for her to publish another book in this or her other series (m/m).  As a result I sure had some high expectations for this…

On the one hand – she delivers the rough love we’ve come to expect from her.  Very damaged people with questionable moral compasses doing what it takes to survive in their hard worlds.

We get to see a bit of some of our favorite MCs from previous books.

There is a LOT of very kinky sex.  A lot.  Kinky.  This absolutely lowered my rating.  At one point I’m not sure there was consent and it there was I wasn’t sure it was for multiple partners or fisting.  This didn’t sit well with me and as a result I won’t be buying the audio or reading this again.  I barely finished the first time.

I know that’s very person dependent so if that’s your thing – awesome!

I did love the HEA and how it came back around again to trust – it just never felt comfortable and I never felt the connection between these guys that I did the MCs from book 1.

Somewhat recommended – but read some reviews and read her other stuff before this.


Purchased for Review

Time to get scared: Gray’s Shadow – Kings of Hell MC Book 4 – K.A. Merikan

Good Reads link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41052468-gray-s-shadow?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
— There can be no shadow without the man to cast it. —

Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.

After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.

Even sell his own shadow to the devil.

Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.

The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.

Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.

But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.

Review
Yet another fantastic story from K.A. Merikan! They never fail to deliver an in-depth story with strong characters and pack it full of emotion.
This book is continuing the overall story arc of the Kings of Hell MC series but we have our own story for Gray and Shadow. I’d recommend reading the books in order, or at minimum the first, Laurent and The Beast, to understand the basics of the demonic side of the story. It’s been a really interesting ride so far with some…..quirky characters but they are all worth reading and book 4 just continues that trend. All members of the MC are included and are there through the tough times for Gray.
Whilst a serious and, at times, creepy story we are treated to some funny moments with Shadow learning about the world around him. I think those moments’ help to pull us through some that are quite tough with Gray reminiscing about his dead twin and losing his arm, as well as the tasks that they carry out on behalf of the club.
As Gray is the quiet, reserved man of the club, you never really expect much but we are given complete access and he has suffered for so long in silence about several things. He just proves himself a winner for the strong, silent type award but Shadow soon puts his limits to the test. He’s very much a man willing to do his part for the club but doesn’t take anything for himself.
Initially, Shadow is creepy and we’re unsure of his abilities. A scene not far in may be hard for some to read as Shadow attempts to become one with Gray without the man’s permission. He learns the hard way what Gray will accept but as a newly formed person, he has no understanding of the world without instruction from others. Reading him learn about the world and people around him is endearing as he always wants to know more but there’s always the underlying edge of what he’s capable of. What endears him the most is his steadfast adoration of Gray, of which Gray is very much deserving but he never quite goes about things the right way.
The story moves along at a good pace with our introduction to the characters and story line diving right in and from the outset, I was fully engaged! Needing to know what was going to be happening next, everyone’s involvement with the demon and the club’s plans moving forward. K.A. Merikan do such amazing work in building a world that you feel really engaged in, I find it so easy to imagine everything around the characters wherever they are as they describe/visualize the surroundings. Our MC’s are treated with the respect they deserve and earn their places at each other’s side by the end.
I cannot recommend this series enough. This is yet another of their books that I have fallen in love with and I’m really looking forward to book 5, the last in the series.

Number of stars out of 5
5

Provided by author

Time to Get Paranormal: Buyer Beware: The Omega Auction: Book 2 (The Omega Auction Chronicles) Audiobook by Kian Rhodes Narrated by Alexander Collins

 

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Buyer-Beware-Audiobook/B01N21GATM?qid=1534874674&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=EY4QEGBJQ0PB2H874FQC&

Blurb
Warning for violent, non-consensual acts. This book does feature a strong hurt/comfort theme that involves references (non-explicit) to a violent rape.
Five percent of royalties received from the sale of Buyer Beware are donated to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
Colby
Until I pissed Lloyd off, I’d always thought that the Omega Auctions were an urban myth, something that packs used to scare Omegas into obeying. As it turns out, not so much. When Lloyd and Ivan delivered me to the auction house, it was immediately clear that shit had just gotten real. I could only guess at what Lloyd had written on my intake forms, but it was obvious that these people believed I was dangerous.
Rafe
“Usually only one reason that an Alpha buys someone like me,” Colby had said.
I watched the emotions flitting through eyes on a face set like stone and considered his words.
Colby might be bigger, stronger, and, yeah, tougher than most Omegas, but he was still an Omega. An unbonded Omega with no pack. An Omega who thought that the differences that set him apart, the differences that made my wolf scream with the need to claim him, meant that he’d stay that way.

Review
I have to start of by saying that there is a rape scene in this book but it’s only really talked about and even then it’s not in much detail. I think the way Kian wrote the scene and the following one was with great tact and not added for shock value.

Colby is an omega who comes off more like an alpha. He strong, tough and independent which immediately draws is Rafe when he finds him at an auction. Colby is a character who seems at odds with himself. He doesn’t want to be seen as weak but can’t help turning to mush around Rafe. His constant self doubt that he isn’t a perfect Omega for Rafe has him at one point trying to change who he is, which confuses Rafe and leads up to a big misunderstanding between the two characters. We get to see more from Trevor and Clint. I was really happy to see that Trevor has grown leaps and bounds from the first book. Enough so that even Rafe is intimidated by him. The story does have a happy ending but it’s not an easy road to get there.
Alexander does a great job narrating like always. I especially liked his portrayal of Colby.

4 stars out of 5 for book. 5 out of 5 for narration


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Time to Go Dark: Axel’s Pup Audiobook by Kim Dare Narrated by Chris Clog

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_mycart_vi_tseft?advsearchKeywords=axel+pup&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0

Blurb
As the landlord of The Dragon’s Lair and leader of The Black Dragons Motorcycle Club, Axel Carmichael has seen it all and done it all. He’s a respected and experienced dom. Nothing shocks him any more, and nobody catches him off guard.

When Bayden rides up to The Dragon’s Lair on a bike worth more than most men earn in a year, and immediately demonstrates that he has far more attitude than sense, it’s easy for Axel to write him off as a silly little rich boy who’s about to get himself killed.

But, there’s more to Bayden than meets the eye. He’s no silly little boy, rich or otherwise, and werewolves aren’t easy to kill

Review
What can I say. Axel’s Pup is long but oh so worth it. A wonderful mix of erotic and romantic. Axel leads the Black Dragons Motorcycle Club from his pub The Dragons Lair. From the start we learn that humanity feared werewolves so much that they tried to suppress the species by putting them in camps and destroying packs. Werewolves have no rights and are maligned within society. This is a great twist on the usual shifter stories. Given examples throughout history I can certainly see humans treating another threatening species in this way. From the moment Bayden meets Axel he recognises him as an Alpha, albeit a human one. Axel as all the traits. Axel’s protective side is drawn to Bayden before he knows he is a werewolf. The story is long but it in my opinion it has to be. Especially if we are going to get the depth of trust building between a werewolf who has been brought up to mistrust humans and a Dom finding his way with a unique sub. There is a lot of self realisation, growth and understanding throughout the story which kept me listening. Two scenes that stood out for me was when Axel asked what a Werewolf Alpha would do and took on that role when Bayden had assumed he should be trying to be more human. The other was towards the end when Bayden and Axel showed the crowd what real wolf submission looked liked. It summed up the love and trust that had grown between them.

The narrator is spot on with these characters. Axel has a light Welsh accent gruff yet smooth, slightly older sounding whereas Bayden sound young but you get the feel of his hard life coming through. The secondary characters all have a sound that suited my impression of them. For example one of the dragons was always trying to get a rise out of Bayden he sounded nasally, which suited the impression I had of a scornful attitude.

5 of stars out of 5