The Dust and the Roar by Cat Porter
Series: Lock & Key
Published by Self-published on July 17th 2019
Genres: Biker / MC
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Screw the rules.
Army veteran Richie Tallin returns to South Dakota from a disastrous war with nothing to gain and nothing to lose. With no real home, his family in shambles, his dad’s old motorcycle becomes the key to a new life as Wreck, the Road Captain of an outlaw motorcycle club. Now he’s living the life he’s always craved—freedom, good times, loyalty, no regrets, and, hell yes, no rules.
But when he finally gets a chance with Isi, a feisty girl he’s had his eye on for years, everything shifts. As fiercely independent as Wreck, Isi is determined to restart her life and keep her family’s business afloat while she hides a wounded past. She and Wreck light a fire in each other that’s unexpected and wild, and what begins as a casual fling becomes passionate and serious real fast.
Life is good.
But when a war of revenge, payback, and power breaks out, everyone gets caught in the crossfire. Choices are made. Sacrifices that can never be undone. In a crazy 80’s world of drug dealers, rock and rollers, and rival outlaws, Wreck and Isi are determined to hold on come what may.
And come it does.
Few know how the One-Eyed Jacks MC of Meager came to be. And fewer still, how the love of one woman changed the destiny of a small town in the Black Hills of South Dakota forever.
This biker saga / motorcycle club biker romance / romantic suspense / romantic adventure / small town romance / coming of age / women's fiction / inspirational family saga novel takes place before the Lock & Key Series and is a standalone set in the late 1970s through the 1980s and can be read before OR after the four book series. This book contains adult language, sex, violence, drug use and is intended for mature audiences only
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
With The Lock & Key series featured in our Top 10 Biker Reads, choosing to read Cat Porter’s latest book, The Dust and the Roar, was a given! I enjoyed Wreck’s story from the perspective of a man’s journey and the people he connects with along the way. One of the aspects I look forward to in these books are the strong secondary characters that pique my interest but don’t cloud the main story.
I process books I’ve read in several ways, mainly by chatting with other readers but sometimes I want to process in solitude and pour my thoughts into my review. With The Dust and The Roar, though, I was at a loss of how or even where to begin. Yes, I had my highlights and my notes but this time, I needed more. This lead me to our Top Ten Biker Reads post to revisit the key elements I look for in a biker romance.
The strong camaraderie was there but not within the MC. Where it came through was with Wreck’s friend Noah in the beginning of the story and then towards the latter part of the book with his brother Miller. It was during this time where we hear more from a couple of favourite characters from previous books, Boner and Dig. But The Bleeding Eagles and the beginnings of Wreck’s One Eyed Jacks angle of the story fell flat for me, despite my appreciation of Wreck and Scout’s characters.
There was plenty going on but the Bleeding Eagles were out of their league. The men that formed the club were bikers enjoying their love of the road and were only branching out into being security for a local venue. When they find themselves in the thick of drama, they were lucky to be rescued by the real McCoy but that meant they were in debt to their Knights in Chrome. I struggled to see how Wreck could form a decent band of men together with the friends he had.
Now we’re told Eagles mate for life, but Wreck gave me the impression he was an Eagle in name only, because he spent time in more than one nest if you get my drift. One of which was already occupied no less! When he did find his one true love in Isi he redeemed himself. They were soul mates who sought to bring the best out in each other. While I loved them as a couple, I struggled with their chemistry. Maybe it was the timing or sweet nothings they shared that threw me, I really can’t recall. My thoughts were this was a love story rather than a romance, with the love going beyond a couple extending to family and friends as well.
The bad guys:
Oh, where do I start… there were several characters that made my skin crawl and it wasn’t limited to the Demon Seeds or The Shepherd and his cultish followers. Usually I enjoy this aspect to a story but I fought tooth and nail to keep reading whenever they had page time. The most frustrating character of all was one of Wreck’s Bleeding Eagles crew, Cheeser. I can’t understand why Wreck and the others let him hang with them. Eh, I guess there’s always one in a group, you just pray they don’t turn out like that guy!
With Isi’s talents, I just had to mention music. Nothing makes me smile more than checking out music references in a story and pausing to listen to them on YouTube. Looking up Slow Ride, it took the scene where Isi sang it to another level. There are lots of other fabulous songs and musicians mentioned in this story, be sure to take time and look them up on youtube. You might just find some new to you gems for your playlist!
The timing of The Roar and The Dust releasing was perfect for me. With time to do nothing but read, I was able to do exactly that. That said, I wish I had time to go back and read the Lock and Key series again because it had been so long since I had read about the One Eyed Jacks that my memory did not serve me well. My experience as such was reading a book as a standalone and I missed the anticipated familiarity I was looking forward to.
The Dust and The Roar gives us the early history of the One Eyed Jacks. Unfortunately, they weren’t as impressive as I thought they would be which took me by surprise. There were bits and pieces of gold to be found in the pages, but not enough to propel the book to the five star rating I anticipated. It wasn’t until the last 15-20% where the captivating writing drew me in and led me to my rating of three stars.
3 Stars (The ending a solid 4+ Stars
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About the Author
Cat Porter: Daydreamer, crazy person, a New Yorker who lives on a beach in beautiful Greece. A compulsive scribbler, a lip-biting romantic, an optimist with a twist and a twisted imagination. Obsessed with emotional epics, intense anti-heroes, and bold, determined women. And I don’t want to be cured of any of those. Ever.
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