Random & Rare by Cat Porter
Series: Lock & Key #2
Also in this series:
Published by Self-published on March 10, 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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I am that gash in her soul.
Once I loved Grace, really loved her.
And she loved me, and it was so fucking beautiful.
That pendulum swings to and fro.
and then we’re—
How can that rare beautiful be rendered irrelevant, intangible when I still feel so damn much?
Does all that energy, that glory, that significance simply dissolve?
Turn to smoke?
It can’t. It just can’t.
Are the moments that shape us absolutely random?
Is time not fluid?
I made promises to them, to her.
Especially to her.
Promises I still burn to keep.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
We Dirty Girls love Cat Porter and were thrilled when she offered us some ARC’s of Random & Rare. We do have a few pieces of advice before you start reading:
1. Do not reread Lock and Key before you start Random and Rare. The first half of the book is a rehash of what happened in L&K but from Dig’s POV, so no refresher is needed before R&R.
2. From 50% on, keep a box of kleenex close because you will need it.
3. You need to listen to this song before reading, while you’re reading, and afterward too. It’s like it was written about Dig. Have those tissues handy, you’ll need them for this too.
Dear Cat: You should have named this book Random and Wrecked because by the end I was sobbing and completely, totally wrecked. I wasn’t sure about a book from Dig’s POV because alternate POV’s aren’t my thing. Plus, let’s face it—since I’ve read Lock & Key I knew that it was going to be like watching a movie about the Alamo – it wasn’t going to end well.
I see what you were doing, though, because Dig’s story needed to be told and you did it well. I am so glad I sucked it up and read this book, even though I ended up crying in my pillow half the night with my poor husband looking at me like I’d lost my mind…again.
Making the second half of the book about Grace and Miller and how Dig’s actions years ago would continue to affect them was freaking brilliant of you. There’s a convergence of past and present that was beautiful to behold, even if it’s a painful, emotional wrecking ball.
My only complaint about the book was that the first half drug on just a bit, since its ground we had essentially already covered in Lock and Key. I did re-read L&K first and if I hadn’t done that, I may have felt differently. Overall, I loved this book. Please tell me we’ll see more of The One Eyed Jacks. I’d love to see Boner’s story, and maybe even Butlers. Well done Ms. Porter. Well done.
Spice’s Rating: 5 Stars
I’m not going to lie: when I first found out Ms. Porter was publishing another book I was ecstatic. Then, when I realized said book was about Dig (Grace’s late husband) I was a little put out. I mean, do I really want to read about a dead guy? But of course, then I read the prologue and a tiny sneak peek into the first chapter, and I was absolutely hooked.
So yes, you will read about a dead guy… but I don’t believe that has prevented any of us before. I know I watched Leo go down as a frozen popsicle into the Atlantic one hundred gazillion times and I’d still probably watch a re-run if I ever caught it on cable (that I don’t have, but still, that’s not my point). So, as I was saying, even if we know where that part of the story is going, it still is a fucking beautiful one. One that should be enjoyed.
We men have big dreams. Some of us aim high, too high from time to time.
Grace never let go, always believed. She made me believe in that hungry emotion called love. She held my bounty in her fists. I’m glad I went first. I don’t think I would have made it alone, brotherhood or not. Without her, I would have become and even nastier, more brittle soul that I already was.
Once I loved her, really loved her.
And she loved me, and it was so fucking beautiful.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if that is not everlasting love I don’t know what the freakin’ hell it is.
Let me start off by saying that I did not do a Lock & Key re-read before grabbing Random & Rare. So although roughly the first half of the book is Dig’s PoV of his and Grace’s life together, I didn’t find it boring or repetitive it just brought up what I remembered from before. I do know some of the girls, having all the L&K facts fresh from a re-read, found it a bit slow.
Even when I knew what was waiting around the corner for Dig, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him (I hate you Cat for that, just so you know). She has a way of writing that makes her character so real that you can’t stop yourself from feeling everything along with them on a visceral level. And what I mean by that is that there were several points in the story where I would actually look down and watch for the blood pouring out of me after that stabbing in my gut.
If you want your heroes to be perfect, politically correct Prince Charmings then this book is most certainly not for you. AT ALL. (Though in that case, I would encourage you to watch Prince Charming’s portrayal on Into the Woods, the Disney movie. It was a most welcome eye opener that one.)
Dig is crass, tough, a fucking asshole a lot of times and not apologetic about it. He is what he is. And you take it or you leave it. I love how truthful his response to temptation was. Even though I love to read about the H who can’t even stand to look at another woman after he got his “one” we all know that is so not happening in real life. Men have eyes and they will look. Dig looked too, he wondered, he was tempted, but in the end (as we know from Lock & Key) he realized that what he would lose in that exchange was not worth it. For a nasty biker, I think he was really sweet and caring. The way he feels about Grace throughout his life was simply magnificent. I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it!
Sadly, after reaching the point in the story where Dig is no more a physical presence in Grace’s world, we fast forward to the events at the end of L&K. And I say sadly because life/destiny/karma, whatever you want to call it, is not done kicking Grace’s ass. No, my friend, she still has a lot of battles to fight, and heaps of shit to overcome. Her journey in this book is just wrecking. It will hit you in the chest, punch you in the stomach and I’m pretty sure it will leave you with tears running down your face, snot leaking from your nose, a used up box of kleenex and puffy eyes. Yes, and I had to go to work 3 hours after finishing it… let’s just say “Thank God I wear glasses”.
So, summing up, this very ranty and randomish review: Is Random & Rare a happy story? No, and I would certainly not recommend it for when you’re feeling blue. What I will say is that it is an EPIC LOVE STORY. It absolutely worth the heartbreak and the gutting feelings it evokes, because, ladies, the ending is SO GOOD.
The girls don’t call me the Epilogue Nazi for nothing, and I can tell you right now, without a shred of a doubt, that this epilogue is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s simply beautiful and I know I’ve used that word a lot in my rant, but it really is the only word I find to describe my experience with this book. Beauty is not always pretty, but it makes you feel: it makes you feel pain, it makes you feel happiness, it makes you feel hope. And this book has the most hopeful message I’ve read in a long time.
Love never ends, it carries on to those who were touched by it, it comes back to us as the fruit of our loved ones’ actions. It will always be and it’s the only thing that will stay with us forever.
So if you’re not reading this book because it is about a dead guy, then I feel sorry for you, because you will pass on the chance of experiencing one of the best books about love I’ve ever read.
Sparkles’ Rating: 5 Stars
Random & Rare takes this story back to when Dig and Grace first met, only from Dig’s POV. First up I thought, what? This is Dig’s story? No, surely not? Had my memory failed me? Was it going to be a paranormal book or had something occurred that we weren’t aware of? Well, needless to say, I went into Random and Rare a little confused. I usually read the previous book in a series before getting into the latest release to refresh my memory of where the story was at. So I picked up and read Lock and Key (L&K), then before I’d finished it, the Buddy Read had commenced! I threw caution to the wind, stopped reading L&K and just jumped straight into Random and Rare. Best decision ever. IMO there is no need to prepare for this book if you’re reading this series in order, you’ll be fine. The story is presented in two parts, the first part being Dig’s POV and the second featuring Grace and Miller.
Dig takes us through his take on how he and Ruby’s little sister aka Grace met. Now, this is where I struggled a bit. Part 1 covers old ground and being familiar with it all from Grace’s POV, hearing it again so soon, his POV felt a little slow to me. It was good to hear his thoughts and reasoning behind his actions and in hindsight, it was important to the story overall.
Once I moved on to the second part, which had returned to the future (and really where I expected this story to start), focusing on how Grace and Miller and their individual struggles as they become weighted down by all that surrounded her, giving this section a distinctive melancholy overtone for the majority of the time IMO. I started to wonder how much bad luck could one group of people endure.
What haunted me as Grace struggled through, was how much of an influence Dig had on the events that played out in Part 2. Could he be still being that protective force, having started a continuum of righteousness triggered by the good deeds and justice he metered out over the years? He was helpless as a child. As a man, he had the power to influence and prevent the evil that some depraved characters inflict on others. The goodness Dig was trying to cultivate contained copious possibilities. It was the only way he knew to fight the memories of his family’s demise, to never let anyone suffer the way his sister Evie and his parents did that day. He would never cower. In his quest to shelter Grace from the darkness of the memories trapped within him, he kept her in the dark, not privy to what he was up to and when she only had the benefit of her own observations and snippets others shared with her, she formed a misjudged perception of Dig’s behavior during the lead up to that last ride. And so did I…
For a while there I was expecting Dig to do a Lazarus and in retrospect he did through symbolic and random coincidences that Grace didn’t notice until the mystery of ‘that girl’ is resolved. At that point I shook my head, how did I miss all this, the title of the book all of a sudden made so much sense. There was a need for not only Grace to come to terms with the accurate take on the events that have shaped hers and others lives to see the beauty in all that appears random and rare. Whether it be coincidence, chance or orchestrated – it provided a platform for the life that eluded Dig to finally come to fruition and in some abstract way have him a part of it.
Overall, Random and Rare is a very moving story. There are minor plot lines intricately woven into all that Grace and Miller have to contend with. The story itself was presented in a way that was not how I imagined it would be (to be honest, I was wondering what was going on when I saw the prologue). I wasn’t disappointed, it was more that I didn’t expect the story to pan out the way it did.
The epilogue wrapped up what was at times a difficult story to read. Thank you Cat for bringing it home for me so neatly in a way that was not done so for the sake of finishing a book!
What I loved:
- Dig handing over his sunglasses to that girl in need
- Tania, good friends see beyond the moment
- The epilogue, I needed it
What I struggled with:
- The horrific flashbacks
- Creeper – he was creepy, weird and depraved
- Reading L&K again before heading straight into R&R
Lily’s Rating: 4 Stars
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