Fearless by Lauren Gilley (Dartmoor #1)
Released: January 2015
Motorcycle Club Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “I wanted to be special to you.”
“Fillette, you were always that.”
It’s been a while since I’ve read a big, epic book and throw on top of it the fact that this book is a motorcycle club romance – something that has been missing from my life recently, and I was set to snuggle in and be drawn into the world of the Lean Dogs.
The Lean Dogs are a motorcycle club in Tennessee, and our heroine Ava, has grown up in the club. When the book starts, she is moving back home to Knoxville to attend graduate school. She left the club and her hometown to go to college, something her parents truly wanted for her. As she grew up, the town looked down upon her dad’s club, looking at her like a second-rate citizen. Ava never felt that way, feeling happy around the bikers and their way of life. Even when violent danger came her way from a rival club, it didn’t deter her. But with the push from her parents she left for college.
Now back home, with her dad taking over as president, more trouble is on the horizon. Not only is a rival club causing trouble again, but Ava’s old flame is back from New Orleans. Mercy is 13 years Ava’s senior. He protected Ava as she grew up, and then when she was 17 (and he was 30) their friendship turned passionate. They have sex (I’m including this because I know some might be turned off by this – so putting it all out in the open). Later they are caught by her father (uh oh) and some other things happen, and Mercy gets sent back to New Orleans.
But in present day, with he father taking over as president and new threats to the club, Mercy comes back to help with the fight and keep everyone safe. Ava reunites with him and….well, you can guess the outcome. With this book being 800 pages though, it’s quite a bumpy journey.
This book starts in present day but we do go back to Ava’s childhood and see all the trouble she gets in with Mercy as she is growing up. So it’s both present day and flashback scenes. Is it skeevy that Mercy has known Ava since she was a small child and ends up physically with her? Some might think that but their romance worked out well for me. Although Ava comes off a little too perfect at times, her courtship with Mercy is not perfect – at all. They definitely have chemistry but there is a lot of push-pull and a slow build-up to a relationship. I liked them a lot together.
But Mercy and Ava stood together over the marble cheesecake at the kitchen counter, Mercy’s tall frame almost curled around her as he looked over her shoulder, smiled at whatever she’d said. His hand, for just a second, was at her hip, too low for casual.
He pulled it away and turned as Maggie (ava’s mother) stopped in the threshold, his eyes coming straight to her face, the mask not fast enough in coming down. Naked fear strobed in their black depths before he could catch hold of it.
Don’t say anything. Don’t take her from me. Don’t you dare. I will fight all of them. Oh, God, it’s all going to blow up, isn’t it?
While Ava and Mercy have a bumpy relationship, I like that we also get in-depth with the other members and Ava’s parents. Her dad has flaws – big flaws, her mom does too. But they felt real and while Ava might be the perfect student and daughter, her parents and the other members came across more gritty and intriguing.
Could many scenes been cut out so the book wasn’t so damn long? YES. But – there is something to say for a long book. Sometimes it’s fulfilling to get all the details, and all the scenes and all the characters. I miss it at times when I read books that only give you a small glimpse into the world. (this was originally a serial so maybe that increased the word count?)
I had not read a MC romance for quite some time and this was just what I needed. Not a perfect book – definitely has issues in it that will send some running – but it was a nice escape. I would classify this between Madeline Sheehan and Kristen Ashley – not as dark and gritty as Sheehan, but more gritty than Ashley.
I told Sheena I was starting it one evening, and the next morning she texted me that she had stayed up all night and read the whole thing. I was on page 25 or something. LOL. She really enjoyed it (see her Goodreads review). Putting this book into my “Fun, cracky” category and will try book two.