Review: Undaunted (Knights in Black Leather #1) by Ronnie Douglas
Released: September 15, 2015
William Morrow Paperbacks
Reviewed by Sheena
Aubrey Evans needs to get her life back on track after her father is indicted for embezzlement. All she has to do to hightail it out of small-town Tennessee is save up money for college tuition and steer clear of hard-muscled boys on motorcycles. Yet there’s no ignoring someone like Zion. A knight in black leather, Zion looks like every bad idea she’s been told to avoid, but she can’t resist him. Whenever she’s in trouble, he’s there. Appealing as his rough exterior may be, it’s the protective, principled man beneath who tempts her like crazy.
Zion knows Aubrey doesn’t intend to stick around. She claims to want only friendship, but he senses there’s a naughty girl hiding on the inside—one whose intense desires match his own. For now, he’ll be patient and play by her rules. But he knows it’s just a matter of time before he weakens her resolve.
As they join forces to figure out who’s behind a local crime spree, it’s clear that the danger goes deeper than Aubrey guessed. And when she needs someone tall, dark, and undaunted to keep her safe, Zion intends to be there—now and always.
Favorite Quote: “I’m sorry,” I repeated. “I’m getting tired of sorry Red. Maybe you could try a new tune.”
I feel you brother.
Read it they said. You’ll love it they said. It’s a motorcycle romance (MC) with a cool cover, sold!- they said. Dammit I’ve got to learn to turn those Biker/MC romance obsessed voices off in my head. Undaunted is the first book in the Knights in Black Leather series and unfortunately it missed the mark. Aubrey is new in town and looking for a fresh start to her life that was recently complicated by her parent’s dysfunction. She is young and ambitious, with a plan that she won’t deviate from for anyone until she meets Zion. Road name, Killer, Zion is a patched member of the motorcycle club and is drawn to Aubrey, unable to resist the urge to protect and possess her. Hot stuff, right? Not so fast.
Aubrey as a heroine was not to my liking. She was whiny and judgmental and wanted to turn Zion inside out. She did not approve of the MC life and wanted Zion to completely change. The club raised him, and was his family – he is actually quite literally blood bonded to the club. This was perhaps the hardest pill for me to swallow. Aubrey was attracted to the darkness, the “mystery” the dangerous air and all the things that being in the club brought out of Zion, that made up his whole persona- but she didn’t want him to be a part of the club. Por que’?
“Can you…not wear the gun next time? I know you’re still theirs right now, but…here with me, could you-”
“Yes.” He hadn’t thought about it, but he could see how uncomfortable it might make her.
“One month, then I’ll figure out something new to do, and we’ll keep figuring us out.”
Bish what!!? Love the man, you love the club. It was so unsettling watching throughout the story as Aubrey professed to love Zion but want to turn him inside out and completely change who he is. Even when it was the club who was saving her ass, it still didn’t seem to be enough. Zion on his own was a dynamic character. Most of what I liked about the novel centered around how, despite everything, he tried to give his all. I respected that kind of loyalty even if it cost him his brothers,which again, I was so not cool with. Club President Echo and Aubrey’s grandmother were the break out couple of the novel, midway through I was ready to stage a coup, overthrow Aubrey as heroine and have Maureen’s story be told front and center. The chemistry she had with Echo and their hinted romantic history…very compelling.
There is danger and violence and some intrigue that gets the MC in gear and general badassesness is on display. Tuhh! What’s not to love about hot bikers in leather kicking ass, taking names and keeping a town safe? Plenty, if you are Aubrey. She was such a wet blanket.
Zion got dicked in his own book. Bummer. He deserved more than what he got. Sure Aubrey is young and nubile and a red head and speaks to a place deep inside, but what about meeting in the middle? What about loving someone flaws and all? The resolution was completely unbelievable and made no sense. In a rash move to be “worthy” of Aubrey, he essentially trades one band of brothers for another. No. Freaking Way. I am not sticking with this series. If Undaunted can have that kind of ending, what the hell else could possibly happen in this motorcycle club!? Any heroine in the subsequent books who stood by their men or adapted to club life would essentially make Zion look like a pussy! Jaysus! Where was a seasoned Old Lady to talk some sense into Aubrey’s little head when you needed one? I am very protective of my biker dudes and I do not like to see their way of life attacked or marginalized, especially when their club members are decent and their only crimes are living a little outside the bounds of civilization. They are not civilians, they are bikers dammit! Let them ride, kick asses and carry their guns in their leathers for crying out loud!
Eh. I should have known better…I didn’t register that this was a New Adult book dressed in leather and propped up against a Harley. Not right away anyhow. Have to check these categories after being lured by a blurb. This is not at ALL a MC club romance. At. All. If you like new adult, angsty tales and want to see the word “biker” show up now and again to give it some “edge,” have at it. My displeasure at the MC appropriation aside, the story had a decent plot and the pace was nice. I was not tempted to DNF, despite my misgivings. I would even read other novels by this author, there is a nice voice here and I can see how a traditional romance novel by Douglas would be sweet- but when you dabble in MC you have to go all the way and not dice the culture up!