Fearless by Lauren Gilley
Series: Dartmoor #1
Also in this series: Price of Angels, The Skeleton King, Secondhand Smoke (Dartmoor, #4)
Published by Self-published on January 13, 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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From the author of the Walker Series comes a family drama like no other, a sprawling character epic, a forbidden love story full of angst, adventure, heartbreak, and second chances. Welcome to the mother chapter of the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club; meet the girl raised by outlaws, and the fearsome man who will always hold her heart.
Ava Teague left for college with a busted heart and a deeply ingrained love for her biker family. She returns home to Knoxville for grad school, just in time for her father to accept the burden of president…and for Mercy Lécuyer to roll back into town, looking to patch into the Tennessee chapter once more.
Felix Lécuyer left the swamps of Louisiana for a life as an outlaw biker named Mercy, but it was his family, and the retribution he dealt because of it, that made him famous within the club. Fourteen years ago he fled New Orleans for Knoxville, to become an extractor and bodyguard within the mother chapter, guarding Ghost Teague’s family, becoming a constant companion to little Ava. When she was seventeen, he finally crossed the line. Now she’s twenty-two, and he’s back in town as an old nemesis rears its ugly head, and puts the entire club in danger. The fate of the club is uncertain, but Mercy has no doubts about his heart; it still belongs to Ava.
Now available as a complete novel, Fearless launches a thrilling new series about the Lean Dogs of Tennessee, and the women tough enough to love them. Look for Book II, Price of Angels, coming March 2015.
I hate serials and refuse to read them until the series is complete and they are offered in one complete set. Such was the case with Fearless. The last part was published in December and the complete novel was published in January so I thought I would give it a go. I ended up with mixed feelings about it.
I ran a gamut of emotions while reading this, from horrified, to sad, to happy, to totally cracking up, to kinda bored. An MC novel that was full of violence, torture, betrayal, tragedy (trigger alert View Spoiler » consensual sex between a 17 year old and a much older male and also a miscarriage caused by violent attack « Hide Spoiler), romance, and of course brotherhood, but it didn’t really have that biker book feel to it. At times, the writing was something you’d find in a chick lit novel. Definitely not a bad thing, just unexpected.
So into the teeth of autumn they rode back into the city. He relished the bite of the wind, the unfiltered blue of the sky, the growl of their four bikes as they hugged the corners and opened the throttle on the long stretches of empty road.
Part of the book is set in New Orleans, and it definitely has that hot, humid and languid New Orleans feel to it. Unfortunately, at times, it’s too slow. I was easily distracted several times, even managing a re-read of a Sheehan book. It did draw me back, though.
This was yet another novel that had lots and lots of vagueness going on. I even checked to see if I was missing a book, or if it was a spinoff. At first, I didn’t think so but later figured out it kind of was (look for the author’s Russells Series). I’m seeing more and more of this in new books and I hope it’s a trend that dies out quickly.
Heartbreak was never cured; it just went into remission.
Let’s get to the actual book now. Ava Teague was the Princess of her father’s MC. Raised during a bloody MC war where she had a target squarely on her back, she was guarded by Mercy Lécuyer who became her friend, her confidant, the person who practically raised her, and eventually her lover. He became her guard when she was 8 and he was 21, and they became lovers when she was 17. Tragedy strikes and they are found out so Mercy is sent away leaving Ava heartbroken. She leaves for college and is gone for 5 years. When she comes back she is changed and has a yuppy boyfriend in tow.
I liked Ava. This isn’t a case of an MC Princess trying to get away from her upbringing and her family.
“They’re a part of me,” she said. “If you can love me, then the people who raised me can’t be so awful, can they?”
She loves the MC Princess part of herself. Sure, she dresses differently but that is more because of her circumstances not because she is trying to pretend she’s someone she’s not. She’s definitely still broken but trying to make the best out of the hand she’s been dealt mainly by moving on. Unfortunately, the MC needs Mercy to come home at the same time she does and all bets are off.
She needed a drink; she needed ten drinks. How in the hell was she supposed to face everyone in this clubhouse when her wicked lover was just across the room, and every soul between them knew all the sordid details of the past?
Surprisingly, I liked Mercy too, despite his bad judgement when Ava was 17. He loved her then, and he loves her still. He was a dangerous man who the club relied on to do the dirty work.
This was the lethal cocktail of Mercy Lécuyer; his baffling good humor, and his veiled fury. A wolf who chose to domesticate himself amongst labradors, who pretended to be one, most of the time.
I wanted to dislike him because of his choices, but I didn’t. He redeemed himself, not only because of his self-loathing but because of his true feelings for Ava. He took on his President, his brother’s, and even Ava herself to win her back. When another biker war threatens, with specific threats to Ava herself, he’s right back where he started as Ava’s protector and he was going to do everything he could to keep her from getting hurt again.
There were lots of great characters besides Ava and Mercy. Ava’s parents were especially interesting. I wanted to hate her Dad, but I couldn’t and her Mom was amazing. Kind of a cross between a loving Mom and a pit bull. The rest of the Lean Dogs MC were fun and interesting and scary.
I liked this book, I really did but it felt kind of bloated in places. This is probably because it started life as a serial. I am going to read the next one when it comes out, and I plan on taking a look at the other series this author has, especially the Russells Series.
Rating: 4 Stars
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