Favorite Quote: “Lo sienti, mi amour, lo siento.”
Chelsea Camaron’s 7th installment of her action laded and emotionally packed Hellion MC series deviates from her usual storyline. In this installment, she focuses all her attention on one couple and their troubled marriage. Camaron does a fantastic job of examining the physical and emotional separation that can occur in any long term relationship and dissecting its causes. Every relationship has it’s highs and lows. Add in kids, work, family, and the little things that require your attention day in and day out and it’s quite easy to fall into a rut.You wake up one day wondering where the passion and heat that brought you two together has disappeared to. No punches are pulled in here. Camaron doesn’t downplay her couple’s narrative or thoughts in order to make the story smoother for them and us.
Ruby, Vida, and her brother Julio grew up together in poverty in Mexico. They left and came to the United States in order to make a better life for themselves. Ruby and Vida found the Hellions MC and never looked back. Ruby rose in the ranks and he and Vida present a strong front in and out of the club. A series of scenes shows us the discontent that has been brewing and that eventually comes to a head in their marriage. Rudy forgets that Vida is more than just his “old lady and wife”. She is also mother, a caregiver, homemaker, and a woman with her own needs and desires. Vida discovers she has gradually lost a part of herself as the years have passed-becoming more of an extension of her children and Rudy. The pivotal moment where it all comes out in the open is heartbreaking but necessary. Like a festering wound, the lancing is painful but it allows for the healing to begin.
I enjoyed meeting Ruby and Vida and watching them fight their way back to solid ground. Both are strong, loyal, passionate people who aren’t ones to back away from a fight. It took Vida a little longer to get her “groove” back but when she did-look out. Rudy didn’t stand a chance when the girl he fell in love with shows him the woman he is thinking of letting go of. The heat and chemistry between them is strong; the love and confusion over their separation is a palpable force that comes off the pages in waves.
External issues within the MC and Ruby and Vida’s own family all push their way into the marriage and force Rudy and Vida to start working together and not dwell too long on their hurt feelings. I loved how intuitive the MC was to Ruby and Vida’s feelings and the advice and help they offered. Too often in MC romances, marriage is treated like another cog in the MC wheel and not a separate component that deserves respect and nurturing. In this series, Camaron always brings the conflict, angst, humor, and emotional tone that makes her characters so engaging and stories so entertaining; but in here we see a more serious side to Camaron, giving us the feeling that this story and couple’s journey may hold a deeper meaning for her.
The balance between the conflict and the subplots was perfect. The blending flawless and neither felt as if they were competing against one another other. The arc is slightly expanded and new characters and storylines are introduced. I hope we see more of Vida’s brother in the future, along with an update as to how Ruby and Vida are faring. Even though this is part of an ongoing series, it could easily be read as a standalone.
Heated Ride was an enjoyable, heartfelt ‘ride’ that made me take a long, hard look at aspects in my own long term marriage (15 years) and how easy it is to lose ourselves in the motions and take our partner for granted.