Alright, so I was incredibly leery of this book before I started reading it. I absolutely loved Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series as well as everything else I’ve read by her. So I wanted to try this series because of the author but I’ve tried Motorcycle Club romances before and hated every one I tried (admittedly I gave up after a few so I haven’t tried them all). But I should not have doubted a master because this book was phenomenal and I hated every time I had to put it down to go to work.
Laura Kaye is a wonderful writer and this book immediately sucks you in and keeps you held. Her storytelling, voice, and pace is always spot on and the intensity she creates in her characters and between love interests is always great. The Raven Riders might bend the laws to suit their needs but they are not violent unless it’s to defend and they still have a strong moral compass. In the past, this has always been a breaking point with MC romances so I was happy to see the Raven Riders were not a stereotypical “outlaw” MC. But be prepared, as anyone who has read Laura Kaye’s books before knows, she makes you have all the feels. I’m not a crier for books or movies but this one had some moments, it was close. Now to anxiously await the next in the series!
Haven is a great heroine who the reader gets to watch find herself and what she really wants. She’s been abused and oppressed by her father for years so she’s just now learning what she wants and likes and how she wants to live. She’s nervous and shy around the Raven’s at first but her desire to help out with cooking means she quickly becomes a favorite among the guys. Just a small thing, but Haven got over her past a little quickly considering how her father treated her. She trusts Dare almost from the beginning and quickly finds her place among the Raven Riders. But this didn’t really bother me because, let’s remember, this is fiction and sometimes you have to make things a little easier than they should be.
Dare works hard and will do anything for his people and he shows this through his dedication to the Raven’s. He learned what it means to be a good man from his grandfather and he’s always making sure that he and the Raven’s do not end up like his father’s criminal MC. Haven and Dare are the perfect match because Haven’s innocence and compassion for others softens Dare and Dare’s strong presence and protectiveness makes Haven feel safe enough to ask for what she wants and be the real Haven that she’d hidden while with her father.
On other notes, it was great to get a little bit of the Hard Ink gang in this one. Though brief, it was nice to see them again as I have missed them so much. That’s how well Laura Kaye writes her characters! I hope we’ll continue to see them in future Raven Rider’s books.
Content Note: past abuse, book starts with other woman (see bottom of page for spoiler)
••• Book Details •••
Raven Riders #1 • Romance, Suspense • Avon • April 26, 2016
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .
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Highlight below to see spoiler
The book starts with the hero, Dare, about to get a somewhat public blow job from another woman in the club, then he sees the heroine, Haven, and stops the woman before she can do more then feel him up. The woman was a casual lover of several club members and is not mentioned again.
Ride Hard included in: