Riding Hard by J.L. Sheppard
Published by The Wild Rose Press on August 19, 2019
Genres: Biker / MC
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Biker Dave "Dodge" Roth has never cared about his bad luck with women. He has other things to worry about—paying off debt his ex accumulated and most importantly, raising his three-year-old son, Cullen. When a new neighbor moves in, his boy makes it impossible to ignore her. Hard to miss, she's beautiful, smart, sexy, perfect...
After her last failed relationship, kindergarten teacher Alexa "Lex" Millen has decided to do without men. She's bought her first home in a small town in California and remodeled it to her liking. Naturally, she's managed to move across the street from the world's biggest jerk. His son's adorable, but he won't mind his own business. If only her engines didn't rev every time he came around.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
A Biker romance brought to life by an adorable 3 yr old who melted my heart❣️
The story instantly drew me in with Lex’s predicament of moving towns and settling in to a new home and job as a teacher. It was a great introduction that had me keen to read on. There was lots of angst, a good dose of humour and positive family time. The plot had a good mix of club and civilian lifestyles that I look for in a biker romance
My biggest struggle was the further I got into the story, the more I became aware of repetition arising from the characters self doubt. Both Dodge and Lex were prone to assumptions based on token observations or comments. This in turn played havoc my patience, causing more than one eye rolling reaction. I love a good angsty romance, but only when the challenges the couple faces are angst worthy!
“I know you don’t need anyone, but I wanna help you. Every once in a while, you should let a man help. It makes us feel useful.”
Now I love reading about OTT alphas but Dodge easily slipped into overdrive on occasions. His outbursts surrounding what Lex wore to yoga was ridiculous. He quickly developed a reputation in my mind as a loose cannon with little control over his verbal outbursts. The crazy part was that I liked him as a character, but wished he’d reel himself in at times!
This wasn’t a fairy tale. This was life. Life was hard, unpredictable, and happy endings weren’t guaranteed.
While the mystery created a catalyst for Dodge and Lex’s romance the suspense aspect was diminished by the way it was revealed. The growing threat to Lex’s safety was always in the background as was the mystery and who was behind the drama. When the drama reached a climax, the reason behind it made sense yet I thought it was bizarre.
The women were nice and funny. Lex had been having a blast.
Oh, now I sensed a Rock Chick vibe of the old school KA variety when the old ladies roped Lex into a girls night out. It panned out as expected but had me smirking as the evening unfolded. I loved their banter and the light hearted fun they brought to Lex’s world. They were only to be upstaged by Dodge’s son, Cul.
Turned out even his kid had more game than he did. Thank God his brothers weren’t around. He’d never hear the end of this one.
Cul, my hero!
This little three-year-old stole the limelight in this story and Lex’s heart. A good bonus for his father who had earned the road name Dodge through his lack of luck with the ladies. Cul’s less than stellar first year or so did not destroy his capability to love and be loved. He instantly attached himself to Lex, making it near impossible for her to avoid Dodge. His struggle with communication and the milestones he met throughout the story brought joy to all!
While Riding Hard was slower paced and wasn’t what I expected it still left me curious to continue with the series. Being a fickle reader when it comes to Biker Romances, I can be hard to please. Even with the parts of this story I struggled with, it was the sisterhood and the single parent angle that won me over.
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