Title: Ride Rough
Author: Laura Kaye
Series: Raven Riders
Release Date: 4/25/2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Page Count: 480
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…
Maverick Rylan won’t apologize for who he is—the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club Vice-President, a sought-after custom bike builder, and a man dedicated to protecting those he loves. So when he learns that the only woman who has ever held his heart is in trouble, he’ll move heaven and earth to save her.
Alexa Harmon thought she had it all—the security of a good job, a beautiful home, and a powerful, charming fiancé who offered the life she never had growing up. But when her dream quickly turns into a nightmare, Alexa realizes she’s fallen for a façade she can’t escape—until sexy, dangerous Maverick offers her a way out.
Forced together to keep Alexa safe, their powerful attraction reignites and Maverick determines to do whatever it takes to earn a second chance—one Alexa is tempted to give. But her ex-fiancé isn’t going to let her go without a fight, one that will threaten everything they both hold dear.
I love everything Laura Kaye writes, and this series is shaping up to be just as great as Hard Ink was!
Maverick Rylan is a higher up in the Raven Riders MC, which is run by his cousin, Dare, the hero from book 1, Ride Hard. Mav is a great guy that you can always count on when you need him. He’s been in love with the same woman since he was a teenager, his best friend’s sister Alexa Harmon. But after his best friend died in a motorcycle accident 5 years ago, Alexa left him and he tried to move on with his life. Mav’s dad was an abuser, and he still blames himself for not getting his mom out of there earlier, so he’s got a soft spot for a woman in trouble, which fits in well with the MC’s mission of helping women and kids in need. He’s been throwing himself into that work for the last 5 years. He’s moved on, but he’s never really let go of his Al. Then in book 1, she showed up at the MC club house one day with a beat up face, and no real explanations. She ran off pretty quickly after seeing Mav, saying she was fine and that she made a mistake by coming there. Needless to say, Maverick is enraged at the sight, and vows to find out what’s going on, and if she’s in danger.
Alexa has moved on following her brother’s death. She grew up dirt poor, and her mom is a hoarder, so she’s had a rough life. She needs to feel financially secure and emotionally cared for in her relationship, and she didn’t think Mav could give her that. Not to mention the way her brother died made her worried for Mav’s safety as well, so she walked away from him. She met her fiance, Grant Slater, when she started working for his company. You realize right from the opening lines of this book, that all is NOT well in her relationship. She’s constantly tiptoeing around his moods, and his needs, and telling herself that everything is fine, but she has a feeling of dread towards their quickly upcoming wedding. After her fight with Grant that led to her face getting hurt, and seeing Maverick again, she’s trying to push all that behind her and act like everything is ok. Her sense of denial is STRONG. I was afraid she was heading down a TSTL (too stupid to live) path, but she surprised me.
Maverick starts watching Alexa to make sure she’s safe, and it enables him to be there for her when things start to go down and she leaves her fiance. Alexa has a TON of issues to work through, but she finally starts to come back to herself after years of being torn down left and right by Grant and all his crazy. Once she’s out, it’s like a fog has lifted and she’s realizing how much crap she put up with and she can’t believe she ever let it get so bad. She was looking for comfort in all the wrong places, when what she had with Mav was what she really needed all along. It was so great to see them come back to each other. (I don’t consider that a spoiler, since this is a romance, and the main characters are Mav and Alexa. Obviously they’re going to be together!)
I really love when the hero is ALL IN, and this is definitely the case here. Once Mav knows that Alexa really does need him, he’ll stop at nothing to help and protect her. He was a fantastic character, and I loved his heart. I was really proud of Alexa as well. She let herself get swept up into a completely unhealthy situation, but she managed to get out and keep her head about her, and it was really great to see. Second chance romances are usually a love/hate thing for me, but this one was so different from the norm, and done so well, that I really loved it. Mav and Alexa’s chemistry was off the charts hot (motorcycle sex!), and I loved all of their interactions together, both sexy and everyday. There’s a comfort level there with someone you’ve known forever, even when you’re starting something new or different, and that showed through with them the whole time.
This was truly a fantastic story. There were a couple of side plots that carried through that kept me entertained, and I love all the side characters as well. I’m SO MUCH looking forward to book 3, Ride Rough, which will feature Cora (the heroine from book 1, Haven’s, best friend), and Slider, the tow truck driver in the MC with 2 young boys, who lost his wife to cancer. Dead ex’s are a little problematic for me sometimes, but I have huge faith in Laura, and I love both those characters, so I can’t wait to see it play out!