Knife & Flesh by Susan Fanetti
Series: The Night Horde SoCal #4
Published by Freak Circle Press on August 1, 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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Patrick “Trick” Stavros is a soldier in the Night Horde SoCal, and he was a soldier in the US Army, once upon a time—a sniper deployed to Afghanistan. The club recently tasked him to use those skills, and the job he did for his club weighs heavy on him, just as the job he did for his country does. He’s struggling under the weight, and he’s beginning to crumble.
Juliana Dominguez is a single mother who has just moved with her young daughter, Lucie, into Trick’s apartment complex. Juliana and Trick know each other a little, and share a mutual attraction, but she has rebuffed his advances. She knows about the Night Horde, and she wants a safer, more secure life for her daughter.
Circumstances conspire to bring them together despite Juliana’s reservations, and they learn that they share some kinds of pain and can make each other stronger. Then, just as Juliana realizes that, with Trick, she and Lucie can have the security and stability they need, and also have something even more important—real, deep, meaningful love—the consequences of Trick’s club life threaten to tear it all away.
Note: explicit sex and violence.
Another great read from Susan Fanetti!
Knife & Flesh deals with the reality of PTSD and the difficulty sufferers face in seeking help. Having served as a sniper in the army, Trick has seen the low depths of humanity. Juliana, the daughter of illegal immigrants experienced the lack of humanity through being forcibly separated from her family during her teens. Both Trick and Juliana are focused on justice prevailing yet drawing on different strategies when aiding its progress.
Juliana is a paralegal, balancing study and work while raising her young daughter Lucy. Lucy’s inquisitive and amiable nature combined with Juliana’s patience provide for great family dynamics. Their cozy life takes an unexpected turn when Lucy begs Trick to help her injured mother. He obliges and Trick and Lucy bond instantly, accepting each other at face value. Juliana is wary of befriending Trick, putting aside her attraction to him through concern for Lucy’s well-being. The thought of introducing anyone remotely detrimental to Lucy’s well-being is a not negotiable option.
Trick designs and creates custom builds for the Night Horde. Enjoying Juliana and Lucy’s company and their vibrant intellect, they discover they have more in common than they imagined. The differences in lifestyle are a major hurdle for Juliana and her decision to not have Trick in their life is dictated by the impact it will have on her daughter Lucy.
“I don’t have those answers. I don’t think those are answers you can have, except in reflection. Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
All aspects of both Trick and Juliana’s lives are included and create a well-rounded story. Their attraction is strong based on both an intellectual and physical level. The angst was balanced although occasionally there were times when the angst was edging towards peak levels but thankfully it eased and the story moved on again.
PTSD is a subject I find difficult to read about but having it parallel to other subplots within the story eased me through it. Club life and brotherhood feature strongly and with the familiar secondary characters provided a welcome distraction. The somber and traumatic topics dealt with in the story are counterbalanced through the many beautiful and uplifting moments and I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
What I struggled with:
• Dora’s presence and influence
• Lucy’s father and his reasoning for what he did
• PTSD – a difficult condition never easy to process
What I loved:
• Juliana’s dressmaking skills
• Family time by the pool
• The UCLA library visit
• Riding with Trick
• Dora – she’s full of surprises
Lily’s Rating: 4 Stars
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