Iron & Bone by Cat Porter
Series: Lock & Key #3
Published by Self-published on December 29, 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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A knife that cut too deep,
a slash that still burns,
failures piled high and flammable.
I held my losses at bay with knives, with guns, my hands,
my bike, my brothers,
my iron will.
But not my heart.
No, my heart was the flame
that would light the match,
ignite the blaze.
I am the enforcer
The killer when called upon,
the ruthless hound on demand,
the one who cleans the mess left behind.
I can make you bleed,
Smash you to pieces.
But she smashed all my excuses,
and I shattered hers.
For a split second she was mine,
but I will always be hers.
really beautiful things,
you can’t hold onto forever.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
All of us at EDGy are huge fans of Cat Porter’s Lock & Key series so Sparkles, Lily and I were freaking thrilled to be asked to read ARC’s of Iron & Bone, being Boner and Jill’s story. If you haven’t read the first two books in the Lock & Key series, stop here and read no further…we’ve tried to be cautious but there’s bound to be a spoiler or two for the first two books ahead. Hang on…if you haven’t done so already, read what we had to say about Lock & Key and Random & Rare and then scroll down to the end of this review to try your luck to win an Amazon Gift Card to 1-Click away! They are freaking awesome and I’m jealous there’ll be some lucky readers who will get to experience Dig and Lock for the first time.
Before we can talk about the actual book, we have to look back to where it all began. View Spoiler »Boner was Dig’s best friend, and the guy called on to take care of the mess Dig left behind when he killed the drugged out whack job Mole. Mole had kidnapped and sexually assaulted a teen-aged Jill all those years before. It was Mole’s brother who killed Dig in retaliation and shot Grace, his wife, costing her the baby she was carrying and any chance of ever conceiving again. Jill tried to contact Grace and the Jacks to offer her condolences to his loved ones and share how grateful she was Dig saved her and devastated he died doing so, but Boner prevents Jill from getting anywhere near the club, especially Dig’s wife. « Hide Spoiler
Fast forward 17 years and Jill is a single parent to a little girl and the father of the child being Catch who happens to be a member of The Flames of Hell MC. Jill finally gets to meet Grace through Catch’s sister Tania. Deciding to start anew, Jill cuts ties with Catch and moves to Meager to be close to Tania and to help Catch’s mother who is ill. When Jill discovers that the only way for Grace to have a baby is through surrogacy, she offers to be a surrogate mother for Grace and Lock, fulfilling her need to return the gift of life Dig gave to her.
The surrogacy is secondary to the romance between Boner and Jill. Boner was the hot, gypsy like, wise sage of the One Eyed Jacks but his messed up past was keeping him from trying to be happy with anyone. He maintains an emotional distance from Jill, keeping their connection a purely platonic one, placing her on a pedestal and determined to keep her there. He had quite the “I’m not good enough for her” complex. Even when his walls came down and he let her in, he had an exit strategy. None of us at EDGy are fans of this type of scenario. We still all love Boner, but we want our biker bad boys to know what they want and not be afraid to go after it.
Jill impressed all of us with her selfless attitude with what she was doing for Grace and Lock, at the same time upholding her determination to do what was best for her daughter. I was particularly pleased with the way she was able to live her life to the fullest having survived the assault she endured as a teenager to as a way of honoring all Dig had sacrificed for her. I also liked how no matter how much of a douchewaffle Catch was during their relationship, she took responsibility for her part in its demise too. Sparkles did remind us that she made a couple of decisions that bordered on TSTL, but nothing that ruined her for any of us.
Overall, we loved the story. The plot had a lot going on, but it was easy to follow. Boner’s past had a huge impact on the story and we are given flashbacks throughout the story to clue us into what had happened and how the past continues to affect the future. The grit was there, just doled out in small doses, up until Boner’s past catches up, then it’s there front and center. It didn’t have the same fast pace we were expecting. In fact, Iron & Bone had a completely different type of feel than the two books preceding it. The overall series theme of love and sacrifice was again present with Boner and Jill’s story while at the same time as illustrating how one man’s influence can continue to affect so many in such huge ways, even years after he’s gone.
EDGy’s Rating: 4.5 Stars.
WARNING! The rest of this review may be quite spoilery. After reading Iron & Bone we decided to have an Iron & Bone virtual party where we discussed all aspects of the book, complete with virtual cashews, popcorn, and lots and lots of drinks – well for Spice and Sparkles. It was still morning for Lily so she had sparkling water instead. Forgive us if it’s all over the place. There was a lot of virtual rum going around.
Lily: What I liked was the chemistry between Jill and Boner. In spite of all the things I struggled with, they had me wanting to read about them. And I liked it was instant.
Sparkles: Their love was magic.
Spice: Their chemistry was hot once it got rolling.
Lily: The chemistry and slow build is what I liked.
Spice: Let’s talk about Boner’s Madonna Complex. I’m tired of Madonna complexes. I like my alpha’s to be alpha and go after what they want, not wonder if she’s too good for him. I think of it along the same lines as I do women who think they aren’t all that enough to attract and keep a man that they consider out of their league. Yawn… although Jill getting her Madonnas mixed up cracked me up.
Lily: A Madonna complex in general annoys me, but more importantly, I don’t appreciate it. I think it may be common in traditional cultures where you procreate with your wife and bang your mistress. Know which role I prefer to be in 😉
Spice: I laugh as I type this but am I the only one that had the whole he’s bonking a woman who is pregnant with another couple’s baby thing running in the back of my head?
Sparkles: No, that didn’t bother me at all.
Lily: He certainly didn’t have a problem with his Madonna issues at that point! I had no worries there, as he knew she was giving his friends a selfless gift. She wouldn’t have been obviously pregnant when their relationship went to the next level.
Spice: Yeah, not being huge at the time they get together helps me out with that. I can wrap my head around the progression of the relationship easier now.
Sparkles: The surrogacy was a great topic.
Lily: It was a highlight for me. It was made interesting that it was written it in a way that dealt with the emotional baggage a surrogacy would evoke.
Spice: It was a beautiful gift, especially how she tried to convey at the end how Jill felt about handing the baby over. I wonder what inspired Cat to write about it… I feel some author questions coming on.
Sparkles: I wish we’d seen more of the aftermath and the new beginning for them.
Spice: I had to remind myself at the end, it was Jill and Boner’s story, not Grace and Lock’s because I wanted to see them bring that baby home and the impact it had.
Sparkles: So about the brotherhood within the One Eyed Jacks?
Lily: There was a lack of trust within the Brotherhood IMO
Spice: They were not unified at all and it feels like it’s getting worse in some respects, but better in others. None of them seem to be super tight anymore. It’s like Wreck and Dig died and the brotherhood imploded.
Lily: Is brotherhood a key aspect you look for in biker / MC books? It is for me. Brotherhood to me is the essence of self-made family and a bond formed through adversity.
Spice: It makes the reason why these guys live and die for their MC’s make sense. Without it, they are just a bunch of thugs wearing matching vests.
Sparkles: I think this might be a set up for the future books, as it seems no one is really happy with Jump.
Spice: There was a lot of politics in this one. The Flames intrigued me.
Sparkles: I actually thought the Flames were interesting too.
Spice: Spin-off you think? I see a book coming with Finger and Grace’s best friend, Tania. I think Butler is going to have one hell of a redemption story, but I don’t like his new Old Lady. Maybe she’ll grow on me, kind of like he is.
Lily: Spice, that’s the gift of a good author – to have you like a character you didn’t initially like. Plus the stuff we struggle with stimulates great discussions. So a negative is also a positive.
Spice: So what do you think overall? I’m thinking my rating is going to end up at 4 – 4.25 stars.
Lily: 4 Stars.
Sparkles: 4.5 Biker Papurro Stars
Spice: So 4.5 Star Average it is then. I can’t wait until the next one.
Haven’t Read Cat Porter? Check out the other books in the Lock & Key Series!
About the Author
Cat Porter was born and raised in New York City, but also spent a few years in Europe and Texas along the way. As an introverted, only child, she had very big, but very secret dreams for herself. She graduated from Vassar College, was a struggling actress, an art gallery girl, special events planner, freelance writer, restaurant hostess and had all sorts of other crazy jobs all hours of the day and night to help make her dreams come true. She has two children’s books traditionally published under her maiden name. She now lives in Athens, Greece with her husband and three children, and freaks out regularly and still daydreams way too much. She is addicted to the History Channel, her iPad, her husband’s homemade red wine, really dark chocolate, and her Nespresso coffee machine. Writing keeps her somewhat sane, extremely happy, and a productive member of society.
Connect with Cat
Facebook Author Page: http://on.fb.me/1PlCeYp
Facebook Group: http://on.fb.me/1PAL7i7
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/1TiJEwA
Goodreads Group: http://bit.ly/1ZP3Z1d
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1OMsLq8
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