Stand by Susan Fanetti
Series: Brazen Bulls MC #7
Also in this series: Crash, Twist, Slam
Published by Freak Circle Press on September 1, 2018
Genres: Biker / MC
Buy on Amazon
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2001.
Caleb Mathews is caught between two worlds: Osage Nation, the world of his ancestors, and the Brazen Bulls MC, the world of his brothers. Straddling both, he struggles to be steady in either. The pull he feels most strongly is to his club. There, he knows he’ll someday find his place to stand. But to choose them is to betray his blood.
After her father’s violent death, Cecily Nielsen turned her back on the Brazen Bulls—the world that her father helped create, and the only family she’d ever known. Now, she’s lost in the dark, unsure of what she has or who she is. Going nowhere, toward nothing, and spiraling out of control.
When Cecily finds herself in danger, it’s the Bulls she calls for rescue, and Caleb who answers. She doesn’t want to need the Bulls, whom she blames for her father’s death—and she especially doesn’t want to need Caleb, who’s seen her at her worst. But in her lowest moment, she calls out for the family she remembers, and Caleb brings her home.
At Cecily’s side as she finds her footing, Caleb finds his as well. Together, they stand on solid ground, and they keep each other steady when the club and the world itself fall into chaos.
The one who’s seen the worst of you and stays strong at your side is the one to hold close.
Belonging and remaining true to yourself was masterfully woven into the Brazen Bull’s MC book, Stand. The story follows Caleb’s fight for his Osage family to accept him as a member of the Brazen Bulls MC. Caleb complicates matters further by falling in love with Cecily, the daughter of a Brazen Bull who has chosen to be estranged from the MC. His desire to take a stand to be with the woman he loved provided a powerful basis to his story.
Caleb faced his difference every single day, and fought for his right to be who he was. He fought that battle here at home, too.
The similarities between Caleb and Cecily became more apparent as the story progressed. Together they find comfort and solace in each other’s company. Time slowly unravelled the concerns that plagued them surrounding their need to keep their relationship hidden from Caleb’s family and the MC. All was smooth between them except when they were confronted with whether or not they would attend social events as a couple.
I loved him like he was a piece of me, or I was a piece of him.
Caleb knew for their relationship to work, they needed more than their love for each other. Cecily had to overcome her hatred of the MC. The death of her father at the hands of a deceased brother was a major hurdle for her to overcome. The other battle was Caleb’s family’s acceptance of him being with a woman outside of their community. He had no qualms with the life he led but his family believed he was forsaking them for a white man’s life. Cecily may not have appeared a worthy partner for Caleb to his family, but her temperament and inner values screamed mountain lion or inlonka to him.
If a girl falls in the darkness, and no one is there to catch her, is her body still her own?
Fate and circumstance keep bringing Caleb and Cecily together. Cecily’s coping mechanisms to block out the circumstances surrounding her father’s death were becoming perilous. She was in total denial and it took a massive wake up call to bring her to her senses. Self-preservation finally prevailed, and she stopped numbing herself with alcohol and drugs. While she had no memories of what had occurred when she blacked out, Caleb confronted her with the details of how he had found her and what could have happened next if they hadn’t rescued her when they did.
I got that Cecily’s lashing out was a reaction to feeling threatened. My struggle was because I just couldn’t relate to anyone reacting with such immaturity when most of the time she exuded care and empathy with ease, professionally and when other people needed help. While I am aware that even the most capable people can assist others but not always themselves, it was still hard to bond with Cecily when she was callous to others.
Cecily wasn’t the only one who spoke without thinking. Caleb’s brother was more eloquent in his manner but his words cut just as deep. It took a major shakeup to bring Caleb and Cecily to their senses and realise what is important in life. Thankfully, the fantastic chemistry between them rose above Cecily’s inner struggles.
The Brazen Bulls MC series is one I highly recommend and it was a treat to catch up with past characters. Cecily’s outbursts, however, impacted on me embracing Stand as much as the other books in this series. I had to let my thoughts settle before I could begin this review. In the end, my struggles with Cecily turned out to be a minor irritation compared to the compelling and entertaining portrayal of the sensitive issues raised. The wisdom and compassion depicted within Stand is a testament to why I preorder a Susan Fanetti MC book without hesitation. Be sure to read the bonus chapters included from Catherine Johnson’s new book, Alliance which will have you wanting more after being privy to the captivating introduction to the Red Star series.
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