I am so excited to be a part of the tour to kick off Laura Kaye's brand new Raven Riders series. The series starts with RIDE HARD, which was such an incredible read. Read on for my review and an awesome excerpt from the book. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
Ride Hard (The Raven Riders #1), by Laura Kaye
Publish Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders . . .
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .
It's only fitting that Laura Kaye kicks off her new Raven Riders series with the story of the head of the Raven Riders, Dare Kenyon. We first met Dare in Laura's series that spawned this one, the Hard Ink series. Dare was this larger-than-life figure who literally and figuratively charged into battle when some of his own men fell.
MC books are among my absolute favorites to read. No matter if you're reading about a club that are so-called "one-percenters" who live outside of the law or a club like the Raven Riders who try to abide by the rules whenever humanely possible, the one thing all these clubs have in common is a sense of family. If you are in the club, or bonded closely with someone in the club, then you are cherished, backed-up, protected and valued. This is never more clear and present than with the Raven Riders.
"This MC is a brotherhood. It's a family," he said, crossing his arms. "But a long time ago, we also made it our mission to be something more. To serve the community we live in. And we do that by fighting for those who can't fight for themselves, and by defending those who can't defend themselves."
In addition to taking care of their own, the Raven Riders have made it their mission to take care of women who need saved from the men in their lives. Which is how Haven came to arrive at the compound. She and her BFF have escaped from their abusive crime boss fathers, and although initially scared out of her mind at all the big bikers, Haven eventually finds the camaraderie and sense of family exactly what she's been missing her whole life. Catching big, sexy Dare Kenyon's attention doesn't hurt either.
I loved everything about Ride Rough. I loved meeting all the key players in the Rough Riders that, I'm sure, will play parts in their own stories down the road.
I loved the big age difference between Dare and Haven and that, even though more than 10 years separates them, and even though initially Dare tells himself that matters, eventually they both are forced to admit that it doesn't. Not really. It just means that Dare has lots to teach Haven, and she can have lots of fun learning.
I also loved the surprising foodie angle to the story. Haven suffers from insomnia, so she bakes in the middle of the night. I loved all the wonderful treats she secretly made for the men. She inspired me to go hunting recipes for cinnamon rolls.
I especially love the panty-melting and deliciously romantic heat between Dare and Haven. Laura Kaye is so freaking good at balancing the heat and the feelings so that the sex never feels gratuitous or unnecessary. This is one sexy book, and it always just felt so right.
Ride Hard had all my favorite things - a tough hero with a heart of gold, a shy heroine brought out of her shell by being given a purpose, a group of burly biker men who love each other like brothers, and a dangerous undertone that keeps each page crackling with excitement. If this is how every book in this series is going to be, then we are all in for a very exciting ride.
One minute Dare was standing on the beach, trying to keep himself from giving in to Haven’s innocent playfulness. The next he was wet from forehead to knees from Haven splashing him.
She actually splashed him.
His reaction was pure instinct. He took off like a shot, bolting toward her like a wild animal after its prey. Haven’s beautiful face went from uncertain to startled to amused, and on a scream and a laugh she turned and ran, her feet kicking up water as she cut through the shallows at the secluded lake’s edge.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she yelled between laughs.
Dare just ran faster, not even caring as his boots hit the water. She didn’t have a chance in hell of outrunning him, and he wasn’t giving up the chase until he had her in his arms—and made her pay.
A burst of laughter exploded out of her as she veered back and forth, pleading words spilling haltingly from her lips. And then Dare clasped his arms around her upper body, hauled her in against him, and took them both down to the sand right at the water’s edge. He turned his body so that he took the brunt of the fall, bringing Haven down on top of him. The chase and the challenge and the closeness had him rock hard in an instant. Not surprising, since he’d been sporting a semi since she’d straddled his bike, spread her legs around him, and taken him into her arms.
“You splashed me,” he said, eyebrow arched, hand fisted around the long braid in her hair.
Wearing a grin so open and carefree that it made his chest feel suddenly too small for his heart, Haven nodded. “Oops.”
“You think that’s funny?” he asking, growing harder as she shifted her weight, making her belly grind against his hard-on.
A small gasp of recognition, and she bit down on her lip as the cast of her eyes went from playful to aroused. “A little,” she said in a breathy voice. She licked her lips. Dare couldn’t help but track the movement, and want to suck the trail of moisture she left there off the plump, pink skin.
What the fuck was he doing?
Haven’s hands gripped his shoulders, and she subtly shifted her weight again, pulling herself up his body—just a little, but enough that her lower belly now pressed and thrust against his cock. And Jesus if the need blazing out of those bright blue eyes wasn’t crystal clear.
For a split second, Dare thought of Haven’s list of things she’d never experienced, her lie of omission, the expression she’d worn on her face when he’d made her come before. And what he wanted to do ran roughshod over what he should do.
Startling a high-pitched gasp from her, Dare flipped their positions so that she lay in the soft sand and his body lay partially over hers. With his forehead against hers, he nailed her with a stare. “You sure you want to provoke me?”
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