Hell On Wheels (Black Knights Inc., #1)
August 7, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
New series alert! Hot guys with lots of secrets who ride motorcycles…do I need to continue? Ex-Marine Nate Walker works with a highly secretive group of ex-military people, that only the very top officials in the government know about. He lives in Chicago and ‘works’ at a custom motorcycle shop, Black Knights Inc. But this shop as many have noted, is like a fort, with the highest security surrounding it. Three months ago on a mission, something goes terribly wrong and Nate and his best friend Grigg get captured. Both tortured, only Nate makes it out alive. Now he has Grigg’s grieving sister wanting answers, something he can’t give her. He does give her a night of passion when her grief overcomes her, but then he gives her the cold shoulder. He is too attracted to her to and scared of it, to do anything about it. He can barely deal with what happened himself. After the funeral, he thinks he has escaped her grief, until she shows up, at the gates of the motorcycle shop, demanding to see him.
Ali Morgan is devastated over her brother’s death. And worse, she keeps seeing the same man out of the corner of her eye almost every day. Then one day as she is walking home, she gets mugged. Luckily, other people jump to help her but she still sees that same man off in the distance. Knowing something isn’t right, she heads to Chicago to demand answers from Nate. She isn’t stupid, and knows something is fishy with her brother’s death. The information she passes along to the Black Knights throws them into action.
Julie Ann Walker’s voice very much reminds me of JR Ward. She uses a lot of slang, and pop culture references and the dialogue seems to be over the top. I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, but it is a tad exhausting. For example:
Here he was suffering from a case of blue balls as well as a McDonald’s super-sized order of someone’s-watching-me phobia, and the minute she got all snarky and sarcastic he forgot everything.
“What’r’ya doin’ here?” he asked again. The man had the strangest way of making contractions out of multiple words. As if you couldn’t be bothered with those pesky, extra syllables.
“I need to talk to you.”
He shrugged. “S’talk.”
“Not here,” she gave him her patented, what are you, an eeediot? look.
But getting past that, I enjoyed this story for the most part. It is very easy to read and get into. The Black Knights are all full of testosterone and cranky attitudes. I have a weakness for stories that have military type heroes, and this fits the bill quite well. Nate is very stoic, cold, and not super commutative. He has strong, lusty thoughts about Ali, but wanting to honor her brother’s memory, fights them off. He has had feelings for her for a long time, and once he has to be in close contact with her, it is hard for him to keep his feelings at bay. The author does a nice job with the sexual tension.
I liked Ali and at the same time she kind of annoyed me. I liked that she is smart, and asks for help. She doesn’t try to take on this mysterious bad guy on her own. But at the same time, she seemed to talk a lot in this book, and I’ll go back to my previous statement that she exhausted me. I also think while there are some steamy romance scenes, we needed to see Ali and Nate together more, in a romantic fashion, rather than on the run and having quick sex here and there. I wanted to see their relationship evolve more.
We get a nice secondary story with the Black Knight boss, Frank and the woman that infuriates him more than anything, Rebecca. I think their story is next and I’m looking forward to that.
Overall this is a nice debut and I hope people try this one. I think this is going to be a fun series.
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