Let me just take a few moments to gush about this book.
For some reason, I have no idea what I expected. Maybe a rough and tumble erotica about a motorcycle-riding bad boy and some sweet little blonde that has no idea what she's signed up for in a small little town in Bumfuck Nowhere full of busy-bodies that try to shove the two of them together in various ways. That is not what this is.
That is so far from what this is, I'm not even sure how I ended up with that expectation. I'm pretty sure I meant to read an entirely different book and was too engrossed in this one by the time I realized things were not all bright and shiny. This is a dark book and the characters are not Upright Citizens. Horde Motorcycle Club Leader Isaac does not volunteer at the homeless shelter on Sunday afternoons. Little Miss Lilli did not move to Signal Bend to work on her writer's block and pen a bodice ripper.
Of course, I can't tell you why she moved to Signal Bend, because Susan Fanetti does an absolutely phenomenal job at revealing that information. Throughout the first two thirds of the book, there are brief interlude flashbacks that give us a little more information on Lilli. When the story begins, it's almost as if you've been dropped into the second chapter, entirely skipping the first which would have explained why we are where we are. Instead, Fanetti makes you go with the flow and doles out the information slowly. And at just the right time, too! They were perfect moments for a flashback - they kept you tense and curious for a longer period, but not so long that you lost the tension. Just long enough that when you flipped the page to the next chapter and read the first few lines, you were anticipating the answer just as much as the character.
The romance was disturbingly rough at times, but incredibly sweet, too. They beat the shit out of each other and then fucked like crazy. I mean, if that's you're thing... yeah. Anyway, Isaac and Lilli were equally bemused by their deeper feelings, but they didn't fight it. I like that a lot. Lilli was a tough chick and was well suited to be Isaac's old lady. I found both of them to be charming, even if they did have questionable morals.
One thing that was sort of addressed in this book - a man hitting a woman. It happened in the beginning of the story, so it's not a spoiler. Isaac is about to break up a fight when a woman attacks him from behind. So he backhands her. And I think most people would flip out, how dare a female author have her romantic male lead hit a woman, etc. But if you ask me, which you didn't, that bitch deserved it. True equality means women take their punches just like men, especially if they start shit. So kudos to the author for that awesome moment.
In the end, I felt like there were a few too many sex scenes. Not that the amount of sex was too high, but the time spent on each sex scene was unnecessary. Beyond that, I was kinda blown away. I loved Isaac and Lilli. Watching their relationship develop was a joy and the darkness was a part of it in a way that made it feel natural. I didn't like what these people were doing, but I liked them and forgave their actions because of it. I really liked this story and I'm excited to continue the story in the next book.
If you like rough sex, gruff biker boys, tough-as-nails confident women, and a slow reveal... you'll enjoy this story. Definitely recommended!