By: Mariana Zapata
He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widow, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.
After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly... even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.
And the last thing they ever expected was each other. But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop… she should have chosen the strip club.“Babe, I’ve handpicked everythin’ and everyone in here. I know what I want and I get what I want,” he breathed. “And I keep what’s mine.”
Iris Taylor has lived through some pretty traumatic experiences in her life. Surviving the death of her mother and grandmother, cancer, and her father abandoning her, hard knocks have prevailed. Trying to cling to what family she does have left, she leaves Florida and travels to Austin to live with her brother.
Having very few skills, her brother hooks her up with a job at a local tattoo parlor owned by his fellow motorcycle enthusiast. Startled by how different Dex Locke (said owner of tattoo shop and wild motorcycle member) is from any person she’s ever been around, Iris doesn't know whether to be scared of him or attracted to him. Brash, aggressive, and loud, Dexter Locke is unlike anyone she’s ever met. In order for Iris to survive in her new world, she has to adjust and find a strength she never knew she had, while trusting a man she's just met.
I love love love this book! Long (whew, it was long) but it had an excellent story, wonderful romance, and amazing characters. Iris has had a rough go of it, and I loved how strong she was. Independent as all get out, she was determined to make her own way. A strong inner strength shines throughout and when faced with the large and in charge Dex, she doesn't back down. Dexter is so used to just being obeyed and no one ever questioning him, that when Iris finally does...he just doesn't know what to do with her.
I liked how the author used humor to engage the characters and the reader. I love a sexy romance as much as anyone else, but the extra scenes of them just hanging out and laughing were enjoyed. It made the book much longer but I think it added exponentially to the character development. The slow burn of the story paved the way for a sigh worthy ending I haven’t seen for quite some time. The only negative I can even dream of is there were a few typos that threw me off, but honestly they were minor that only were small inconveniences.
Zapata did a fantastic job with her first motorcycle novel and I simply can’t wait to see what comes next. Well written, excellent romance, fully rounded characters and plenty of sexy created one of the stand out romances of the year. With plenty of secondary characters and Iris’ single brothers, I have no doubt there will be some pretty great sequels coming about soon.
# of Pages: 915
Date of Publication: January 19, 2014
Source: Personal Purchase
2014 Erotic Romance Reading Challenge - Austin, Texas