The Skeleton King by Lauren Gilley
Series: Dartmoor #3
Also in this series: Fearless, Price of Angels, Secondhand Smoke (Dartmoor, #4)
Published by HP Press on September 15, 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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His club brothers call him the Money Man. Vice President Kingston Walsh is one of the most trusted members of the Lean Dogs MC. He’s thoughtful, quiet, and he’s all business. Who better to serve as guardian of the club’s skeletons?
He never counted on the girl, but he’s not letting her go. She has skeletons too…
There’s something to say about a book that you don’t want to let go of and you only relent when sleep overwhelms you. Skeleton King was exactly that for me. I am reluctantly stopping to put my thoughts down before I reach for Second Hand Smoke and find out what miracle solution Aidan is going to come up with to deal with the pesky door knocker. What a mess! I digress, let me share my thoughts about Emmie, Walsh, Briar Hall and why I enjoyed it so much.
Emmie has devoted her time and energy to Briar Hall and given the Richard’s family her loyalty out of respect because that’s Emmie. Her work ethic and love of horses drew her to Briar Hall and over the years she’s made her way to being the manager of the property. When developers start knocking at the door it appears her dream life is about to come crashing down.
Meanwhile, the Lean Dogs have got wind of Briar Hall being up for sale as well and their VP Walsh sees an opportunity for the club and himself which borders on necessity and convenience. Just so happens, meeting Emmie sweetens the idea of acquiring a the property a whole lot more.
Not being familiar with the Lean Dog MC, Emmie is wary when she sees Walsh in his colours and suddenly the charming Englishman doesn’t suddenly appear to be the man she imagined him to be. Circumstances continuously draw Emmie and Walsh together to a point where they are forced to work together in more ways than one. Coming from different walks of life, they discover they have more in common than not. While Emmie recognises some traits instantly there are others she takes a little longer to discover.
What I enjoyed so much about this series is the way the plots unfold. Nothing comes across as forced or added unnecessarily. The main characters from previous books take a second row, blending in naturally while allowing their personalities to colour the pages with their unique voices. When a chapter was told from an alternate POV, it didn’t take long to understand who was talking and nor did it feel out of place.
The other bonus for me was bringing to life the similar freedom horse and bike riding share. When Emmie had her first experience on a bike, there was no biker lesson required and only the sharing of the experience was told, putting a smile on my face. I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been horse riding but it’s every bit as exciting as being on the back of a bike and Ms Gilley had me reliving those treasured moments through Emmie’s thoughts and words.
Now I wonder if it was just me or will anyone else think of Vince as a younger Unser from SoA…or maybe it’s me still trying to let go of a favourite TV series 🙂
What I loved:
• Maggie’s Old Lady talk
• Mercy’s cockiness and doting over his family
• Bec’s fresh and cheeky approach to her co-worker
• Holly’s thoughtful gift
• Family time – good and bad moments
• Fred – a good and loyal work friend
• Aidan – I can’t wait to read his book…
What I struggled with:
• I can’t think of anything!
Lily’s Rating: 4.5 Stars
I devoured this book… but I didn’t like it as much as the others in the Dartmoor Series. All the things I love about a Lauren Gilley book were there, like the strong imagery, the grit, and the emotions, I just wasn’t as in love with it as I was with Michael and Holly’s book. This book is not a standalone, you do need to read the books preceding it or you will be lost.
Walsh had intrigued me from the start and I was excited he got his own book. At times, his reactions didn’t seem to be as ‘thought out’ as I expected from him and not in keeping with his character. I get he is small, but I guess I just wanted him to be mightier. All of my struggles with the way Walsh was portrayed dampened my appreciation for him during the story and even though I still liked him at the end, I wasn’t as enthralled with him.
Emmie wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and she wasn’t as strong as I wanted her to be. She was loyal, but she was an unbelievable pushover. She was okay, but not what I wanted for Walsh, I wanted a heroine for Walsh that was as smart as he was.
I have to say, Ghost and Maggie will never be my favorite characters in this series as their actions in previous books haven’t impressed me. They are too manipulative and way too quick to throw people under the bus for the good of the club. Ghost did better in this one and I do concede the books probably wouldn’t be as good without them. They do add some of that grit I love so much.
I’m still a huge fan of The Dartmoor Series and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.
Spice’s Rating: 4 Gritty MC Stars
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