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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an interesting read. To me, it feels like Ms. Jakes trying something different. A different tone, a slower, more focused pace. Focused in that Sean and Ryker are the main players, sharing limited time with supporting characters. There are many but they themselves are focused, all inhabiting important roles. Additionally, the story is told from Sean Rush’s point of view and it aided in my understanding of him, which is necessary because he’s a rather complicated guy. I think Jakes understands him very well, his voice being clear, humorous, stubborn and struggling. It means his colloquialisms and his way of thinking are spilled upon the page unapologetically and undoubtedly.
Actually, the entire story felt brave to me. It was slow to develop, slow to reveal its secrets, slow to let us all see – most of all Sean – just how much love and caring were up for grabs between Sean and Ryker. In other words, it snuck up on me. Once again, Jakes showed me why I can trust her as a storyteller. The twists, the small but powerful payoffs, the depth of emotion that can be displayed by characters living in a morally liquid world.
** Noah softened. “I get it. You want to spend time with him. But dude, he ever going to come see you in the day?”
“I thought you said that didn’t matter.” (Sean speaking)
Noah stared at me steadily. “You matter. So I want you to matter to him.” **
Noah, y’all, Noah. He’s a longtime friend of Sean’s, going on more than ten years now. They met each other in juvenile hall as young teenagers and ended up in the military, both serving in Iraq. Noah cares but manages to often get in in his own way, let alone everyone else’s. He’s painted as someone who maybe has shifting loyalties but that’s not the case. He’s rather deeply woven throughout the entire story.
Continuing on the supporting character track for a moment, this all takes place in and around Sean’s hometown essentially. This means a lot of people know him, or think they know him, including coppers, MC members and ghosts from the past. Jakes does a good job in using both the setting and the characters to help paint the “why” of how Sean is the man he is and the man he maybe could become. The path is not always clear.
There are some unexpected mysterious elements in this story. Some come from outside sources and some come from Sean himself. He doesn’t always know what’s going on, doesn’t have the whole picture, and we’re taking that journey along with him. It’s difficult to do this sort of first person presentation and it felt real to me, consistent, I could understand Sean’s emotions, reactions and frustrations. Like the entire story itself, the unfurling of Sean’s character was just as slow. The result? The payoffs are even more meaningful. And believe me, there are payoffs.
Before you think me remiss, I will touch on the following: yes, the sex is hot. It’s complicated. It’s sometimes emotional. It’s angry and gentle and needful and unique to Sean and Ryker. It’s even exploratory on some levels. But yeah, it’s hot.
Here’s something else: to me, this didn’t feel strictly like two “alphas” going at it. Both Sean and Ryker are made of many layers, complicated and simple all at once, just like most of us. This didn’t feel like what can be a typical squaring off of two equally matched guys battling to a draw. No, this is much more than that. Neither character is all that subtle in most of their actions and words, but just when you think it’s safe to sit back and watch the testosterone fly, one of them does or says something that’s like a gut punch right to your emotional center. This is something that Jakes does so well with her characters about whom she’s intimately knowledgeable and my emotional center still has bruises to prove it. She allowed these guys to become what they wanted in this story, in that moment. They’re messy, imperfect, influenced by the choices the adults in their lives made when they were kids, and are now having to live with their own decisions and the aftermath of those choices.
As I mentioned above, the pace of this story felt calm, but it’s filled with undercurrents of energy just waiting to be released. When they are? They’re actually lovely and almost understated. The criminal activity takes a backseat to the exploration of self-forgiveness and allowing oneself to be loved. These are two things a lot of us can understand and identify with. I think that’s why I felt like I could set aside their chosen professions and focus on just them. I settled in and witnessed a difficult journey filled with constant questions, realizations and a high level of determination that made them both worthy of what they found.
I love that I was surprised by the way this story unfolded. I love that it took me time to find the groove because, once I arrived, it was like a painting becoming brighter and brighter as each candle of connection was lit. I get it. I got it. And I loved it.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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Format: Kindle Edition
Please see my full review on the Smoocher's Voice Blog.
Caution: Reading this book may make readers fall in love with outlaw bikers and adrenaline junkie car thieves. There are no two ways about it. This book is hot: steam coming from the pages hot. The characters are captivating, the plot is intense and the interactions between the characters are engaging and mind boggling. In other words, this is a typical SE Jakes book.
To make this book more intriguing, Running Wild is narrated by main character Sean Rush, so the reader is fixed to the facts from Sean’s point of view. This tactic gives the book an added dimension as Sean tries to come to grips to what is happening in his life as he tries to work through his thoughts, feelings and observations. In other words, reality is relative to what Sean perceives it to be.
It has been a long time since Sean Rush felt anything. The man is a bit of an enigma: Army veteran, tough guy, car thief, brawler, adrenaline junkie, loyal friend and, surprisingly, a romantic. Sean appears to be a crossroads. His recent release from the Army has him looking for his place in the world. He, along with his two best friends and fellow car thieves, Noah and Billy, joined the Army and wound up in Afghanistan to avoid going to jail. Only Noah and Sean make it out of the desert alive.
Sean likes to push boundaries, and he and Noah like to get into trouble. For Sean, stealing cars and drag racing fulfills an inherent need. It is all about the thrill. Both Sean and Noah suffer from PTSD, and Noah turns back to stealing cars, while Sean, without realizing it, gets what he needs from starting fights and from having hot, mind blowing, exhausting sex. That is until he starts stealing cars again.
Sean has fallen into a “relationship” with a member of the local motorcycle club, Havoc. Ryker is sexy, powerful and mysterious, and he has been breaking into Sean’s house on a regular basis for the last eight months.
Jakes is a master of grabbing the reader by the throat and not letting go, and she has done it again with Running Wild. This is the first book in a new series, and readers are left wanting more about these eclectic characters: Sean, Ryker, Casey, Jethro, Linc and Sweet. There is a thin line between good guys and bad guys in this book. Jakes likes to keep readers on the edge of their seats as she slowly reveals the facts and deepens the characters through expert development and plot manipulation.
As the relationship between Sean and Ryker intensifies, the tension between Sean and Noah increases. Sean is not sure who to trust. Despite Sean’s actions and words, it seems clear that he wants the relationship he has with Ryker to be about more than sex. But, Sean doesn’t do relationships.
Jakes likes to blur the lines between good and bad in her books, and she expertly does this in Running Wild. The characters and plot are captivating. Since this is the first book in a series, the HEA is understated. Jakes uses a grittiness in this book that lends to the realism and intensifies the relationship between these characters and the rawness of the plot. Jakes’ characters are multi-dimensional, strong, vulnerable, and very skillfully flawed. As in her other books, the genuiness of the characters is revealed through subtle character actions and dialogue, which makes this book a great read.
Attention Is Arbitrary M/M Book Reviews
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If you're already a Jakes fan then you're going to love this one. It's just more of everything that Jakes delivers.
If you're new to S.E. Jakes, climb on the bitch seat `cus this one's gonna own you.
I didn't know. I mean I just expected a straightforward MC story. I should've known it'd be so much more. SE Jakes has been taking her writing to the next level for a while now and her latest work is involved, complex and thrilling. Add in the broken, bent, hurting and sexy-as-all-hell men, a hint of the paranormal and well, you have an SE Jakes book. Just the way a new series should start.
"My c8ck had zero problems with memory, though. Like a heat-seeking missile..."
Sean Rush (Rush) - Mouthy, bratty, wiseassed, horny, pretty and pretty tough. He's got miles to ride before he figures things out, but hey, what a thrill it is to ride along.
"Conventional wisdom stated that the bottom was the one in control. Whoever made that sh't up hadn't been f'ed by Ryker. Because I was on top, riding him, setting the pace and the only one orchestrating this thing? The dark-haired, dark-eyed man who undid me with a look, never mind his c8ck."
Ryker- Jeezus, yes please! I'll take two. Ryker is a man of very few words, but he has no trouble driving his point home. Not that Sean doesn't challenge him every step of the way.
Gotta-have-more-right-NOW-side-characters - Noah, Linc, Casey, Sweet, Greta and others that have to be redacted...because reasons.
"I didn't need to be rational when a hot, tattooed biker was breaking in to my place and f'ing me senseless."
Sean Rush, a bad-boy car thief is fighting his wild side, but he's seduced by trouble with every move he makes. Speaking of seduced? Meet Ryker. Holy hell. The sexy, biker-man-of-mystery has been sliding into Sean's bed for months, but does he have ulterior motives? Or is it just sex. Sean's happy with the easy hookup, he's used to them, so why does he want more? Or does he?
When Sean's best friend gets into deeper than he can handle with a car theft ring Sean doesn't hesitate to help, but this just sets up a tangled web of fubar that slowly unravels throughout the story. I thought I knew things, then I didn't. There's doubt and insecurity and PTSD and a whole Havoc MC compound to conquer. But mostly it's about Sean Rush learning to love, to be loved and to just melt under Ryker's very, very capable hands.
"Another vision flashed in front of me--that cherry-red Ferrari, me helpless and spread across the hood, and Ryker f'ing the hell out of me. Holding my hips as he filled me. Like he was claiming me, punishing me . . . for stealing, for racing, for talking to the other guys while he was there."
If this book was just about the hot, steamy, gorgeous sexy scenes that'd probably be enough with the way that SE write's `em. But there so much more. She successfully sets up the series with this first book in a way that makes the reader want to know more about life inside Havoc and the men that are, or are to become, involved.
In this semi-contained world, Havoc is facing challenges and I, for one, can't wait to get even more involved. There's mystery, spy games, intrigue and something a little spooky going on here and that just makes it all the more thrilling.
"Stealing was freedom. Being forced to steal, not so much."
I would like to thank Riptide Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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