Payback by Kristin Harte (Vigilante Justice #1)
Released: January 25, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
I like the premise of this book and it may turn into a fun series, as the hero has a bunch of brothers who all need love. But by the end, I felt like Payback fell a little short of expectations.
In Justice, Colorado, the Kennard family are top dog. They own a sawmill and vast lumberyard and employ almost everyone in their small town. There is a sheriff, but really, the eldest brother, Alder, runs the show (see the name of the series above). He cares deeply of the people of Justice and works very hard to make sure everyone is employed and safe. He and his brothers are all former military – all extremely protective and alpha. All big men, who grunt and drive big trucks. Totally over the top, but in a fun way. When a violent motorcycle club, The Soul Suckers, comes sniffing around Justice, Alder goes on high alert. These are bad men who are into making and dealing drugs and a lot of the people in Justice live in secluded, wooded areas that are hard for Alder and his brothers to keep track of. Then a fire breaks out.
Shye has only lived in Justice for three years, hiding out from the evil motorcycle club and just trying to keep a low profile. She is a waitress at the local truck stop where Alder comes in every single day she is working for dinner. She has the hots for him – he has the hots for her – but they’ve never told one another nor acted on any lustful instincts. When Shye’s trailer is burned to the ground, she knows the Soul Suckers are probably responsible. She has secrets and doesn’t want Alder to get involved…but his protective side jumps into action and he takes her in until everything is sorted. When another fire breaks out and a woman in murdered, Shye realizes her life really is in danger.
I like that the motorcycle club is the villain in this book – since we don’t always see it that way. Every male in this book wants to protect every female. Like I said, it’s over the top – but I thought in a snort-laugh kind of fun way. It gets really sexy and dirty fast – as Shye and Alder fall for each other quick and get down to the dirty dancing they’ve been flirting with for years. This all gets a thumbs up from me. The motorcycle club, from the description we get from Alder and his brothers seems super evil and violent and I was ready to see it all play out.
But I was let down as the book progressed. First, the motorcycle club, who murders one of Alder’s beloved friends, is never pushed into the forefront. We rarely get an actual, on-page interaction with them. For the most part, we come upon their destruction, after they have left. So their dangerous appeal felt pushed off to the side. I wanted to know more about them, or see them threatening people and doing harm, if we are supposed to be so scared of them. I also think the woman’s death didn’t make enough emotional impact with Alder and his brothers as it should have.
Because the book was based around this motorcycle club threat, it just didn’t flow well without the motorcycle club more present. I also would have liked to have seen the town more, or the mill to get a sense of the community.
The romance is hot and sexy – with no surprises. They have a very easy romance. Shye was an okay heroine, but Alder and his brothers and their fiends definitely overshadowed her personality. One major thing that annoyed me is that Alder calls Shye, “honey” 74 times in this book. I searched on my kindle for the number once I couldn’t handle reading honey one more time. It was too much!! Too much honey!!
This definitely had its fun moments and I’m sure the brothers will be getting HEAs, but I did have some frustrations. I’ll check out book two.