Blood & Rust by Cat Porter
Series: Lock & Key #4
Published by Self-published on June 20, 2016
Genres: Biker / MC
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The bad boy.
The fuck up.
That was me.
Once a king,
Now a wanderer.
I’d thrown the best parts of me away, over and over again.
I was reckless.
I’d been exiled.
I did my time.
I’ve cleaned up.
Well, sort of.
I got plans.
Yeah, good ones.
Then I ran into her.
A bolt of lightening
Out of reach.
The woman I once scorned years ago
is now the woman I can’t live without.
I need what I didn’t think I’d ever need again.
I want and want and want.
She’s the epicenter of the war I’ve triggered,
of the battle in my rusted heart.
I may be as reckless as I ever was,
but I’m determined as fuck.
To hell with it.
I want it all.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Reading Blood & Rust reminded me of driving down smooth roads with scenery that makes you want to stop and explore a bit and then suddenly finding yourself on twisty, turny, bumpy roads that give you that bottom dropped out feeling. I wouldn’t start reading this right before bed. You might just find yourself cussing Cat Porter’s name at 4 AM when you still can’t put the book down like I was.
No matter how much Butler’s behavior in Lock & Key disgusted me, I am now a huge Butler fan. I was worried he was going to do something I’d have a hard time getting past, but the man had a plan and several things weren’t as they seemed. He was sexy, sweet, badass, and loyal. He was also very broken, but doing everything he could to put the pieces of himself back together. Butler was determined, seems he not only wanted to redeem himself, he wanted to atone.
It surprised me that Tania was the heroine. I honestly figured she would end up with Finger since they definitely have a history and a mysterious connection. Tania’s at a crossroads, trying to figure out how to move on after dealing with a failed marriage. It took strength to make the decision to live life to the fullest and I admired this about her. I also loved what she decided to do with her life, taking the harder road but one that would ultimately make her happier. She did need to learn to give herself a break first, and get past the deep sense of failure she felt for not making her marriage work.
The MC politics in this book were front and center, adding a backdrop to the story that absolutely riveted me. Dig’s influence was again found throughout as Butler tried to make the alliances that Dig was attempting to put together all those years ago a reality. Once the action got started, it was nonstop, eliciting many a “Holy Crap” and “OMG, did that just happen?” comment from me.
Butler’s plans did not include a second chance at love for him, therefore, he was not in a position to pursue Tania for a good long while. This was somewhat frustrating to me, but the underlying suspense this brought to the story was worth the frustration. When they did finally get to a place to act on the sexual tension, it was intense and extremely hot.
Finger had a huge presence in this book and it could even be said that at times he stole the show from Butler. Some of his actions left me gobsmacked. Needless to say, I want his story now because I just know it is going to kick ass.
In the end, I think I may have loved Blood & Rust even more than I loved Lock & Key. This story about hitting rock bottom, clawing your way out, redeeming yourself and above all forgiving yourself had me waking up with the mother of all book hangovers and I loved every second of it.
Spice’s Rating: 5 I’m Off To Buy Sweetened Cocoa Stars
Be ready to hear me fan-girl over Cat Porter for the duration of this review. At this point I can seriously say that she could write a book about an ice cream cone wanting to make it on Broadway, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read it. That’s how much her writing does it for me.
You don’t need to have read the three previous books in the series to read B&R, but you would seriously miss some awesome couples and the ongoing back story won’t make that much sense… so yeah, for a complete One Eyed Jack experience you need to read L&K, R&R and I&B before jumping into Butler’s and Tania’s story.
I’m going to be honest here and say that I was not expecting Tania to be Butler’s love interest. I was hoping for her to have a story with Finger so color me surprised when the book starts and Tania is the h (they do have a crazy history… so I wasn’t so far off the mark). Don’t get me wrong, I like Tania. She is a great friend to Grace and getting to know her here just revealed why. She is a multifaceted woman, complex yet simple, caring, smart, sassy. She had been left vulnerable and her will almost withered away by a lackluster marriage and a distant, uncaring husband.
From the beginning, I thought Butler deserved a happy ending. I wasn’t always a fan of his and with reason. He had some seriously hard times which we witnessed in the previous books. Yes, some of those stemmed from making bad choices, as but some were just really, really shit luck. Here he was on a mission to make it up to his brothers for all his past fuck ups and set on fighting all his demons on his own.
Basically, Blood and Rust is a book about two people, trying to make their way through life not expecting to find that kind of love, and yet they do in the least expected way.
This is a biker romance so there is plenty of action, shootouts, club politics, and scheming. Butler did a lot of planning in the last book which included coming back with an Old Lady… who isn’t Tania. That was another big shocker for me. I had even started to kind of like that girl. In true Cat Porter fashion though, in the end, everything made sense and it was one hell of a ride. There is not one moment you can say “ok, I’ll put it down now and keep reading tomorrow.” Which meant I was a zombie at work one day this week, but it was totally worth it.
As I mentioned, Ms. Porter’s writing just does it for me. I was there with her characters, my heart kicking in my chest when everything was too calm and I knew something was coming. I felt for them and with them– not just Tania and Butler, but for all the characters.
This ended up being a much sweeter book than I’d anticipated. Tania and Butler were a perfect match and I really enjoyed watching them fall in love.
“He adored me. And I was a pile of fangirling excitement and swooning mush.”
“You know how to make my Brando very, very happy and very hard.”
Action packed, sexy as hell, sweet, funny, heart wrenching. Blood and Rust was an incredible story and I could almost say my favorite in the series so far… which is saying a lot. A perfect addition to this incredible biker series… and the epilogue? Close to perfect, but Ms. Porter and I already had a conversation about it 😉
Sparkles Rating: 5 “Sweet-biker-style” Stars
The Lock & Key series is one of the few I have come across that doesn’t require you to refresh your memory before reading each new book. I drifted back with ease into Blood & Rust as there was sufficient back story included from previous story-lines to be able to slip back into the story-line again effortlessly. While the title conjures up images of loss and erosion, what stood out was the clarity Tania and Butler had to see beyond the blood and rust that surrounded them.
Butler and Tania had great chemistry together and were better equipped as adults to pursue it further and with a better outcome then they had when their paths crossed briefly many years ago. Their first meeting was memorable but it had been left in the past buried by time and subsequent relationships. With more than 20 years between their first meeting and now, this time they met each other with the maturity and confidence you would expect of people their age. It was refreshing to see that they weren’t portrayed as old, rather as people making the most of life and living it with focus.
There’s a long slow burn to the romance…I’m talking a 0 – 72% build up from spark to ignition. It was full on once it started. The connection to the characters was so vivid that I was waiting for Tania to call me to tell me we were heading out for a celebration because we’d both been waiting with baited breaths for this moment to happen! While I adored Tania and Butler as characters, their story was at times raw and considered. There were numerous complications they had encountered and couldn’t be dismissed just because they had met up again. I found the suspense to be underplayed at times and when the pace picked up the situations resolved quicker than I would have liked with the story returning to its previous pace.
The death of past loved ones is a major influence within this series and although it wasn’t as prevalent as in the previous books, it still played a prominent part in Blood & Rust. Tania and Butler’s relationship stands out as being special and worthy of the time they took to build it. They’ve reached a stage in their lives where they are no longer their main focus, having other situations to consider ahead of a relationship that may or may not work. The majority of the story impressed me with Tania’s strength and foresight to achieve what she did as well as holding out hope she’d somehow get to be pivotal in helping Butler find his HEA.
Lock & Key is a favourite series and overall so far it gets a 5-star rating, but this book didn’t give me the buzz some of the other books have. Having buddy read this book, I shared that I thought there were several aspects to the plot that were so eloquently and brilliantly described that at times it took me to a place that was melancholic. Now with all the time Finger got to spend in this book as a secondary character, I cannot wait for him to take centre stage and meet the woman who captured his heart all those years ago!
- Rhett & Scarlet (cute and clever!)
- Finger – He was complicated but oh so good!
- Tania giving as good as she gets
- Sugar, Cocoa and all the treats a woman now knows she doesn’t want to say no to 😉
- Hunting for treasures
- The props they found and how they featured in the past and present
- Lenore – the mystical lady who caught a lot of attention from Tania
- Artistic inspirations
- Family dinners with all the finery
- Jump – He detracted from the brotherhood
- Not as much suspense as I was expecting
Lily’s Rating: 4.5 Stars
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