Ryan Michele comes to the blog today with the first in her spin-off series in the Ravage MC Bound series, a solidly new adult motorcycle contemporary romance narrated by Joe Arden and Lucy Rivers. Please read on for my review of
Bound by Family
It’s been a while since I’ve indulged in a MC Romance, and the prospect of one with two ‘born to the club’ characters who come from different clubs finding their way together, despite the many issues inherent in their choices was too much to pass up. Per the synopsis, Ryan Michele clearly states this title works without having experienced the earlier series, and that promise held true: I wasn’t missing large pieces of information, and while I’m curious about the start of the Ravage MC story, my unfamiliarity with it didn’t impact this listen in any way. There is a significant (and I felt over-played) series of descriptions that ‘reinforce’ the MC club’s creeds and ‘badassness’, but for a newbie to the genre, or someone unfamiliar with the workings of a club, the background does set a tone for the story: darker, not always legal dealings, foul mouths, and some ruthless decisions.
Cooper Cruz was born into the Ravage MC, he’s enjoying the brotherhood and feeling of belonging, even as he is always thinking of ways to launder money and improve the club’s future. He’s one who understands the creed and expectations of members, and appreciates the brotherhood and relative freedom that he has to pursue his own life and interests, knowing there is a safety net and acceptance back at home. Bristyl Daniels has a different experience as the daughter of the VP of the Sinister Sons MC: as a girl – while the acceptance and protections are afforded her, she’s always feeling controlled and guided: not allowed to make her own choices because of the ‘eyes’ always on her from the club members. Not always carefully controlled, however, she sneaks off to see her favorite band at a rally in her town, and the story starts to pick up steam.
Cooper and Bristyl meet and are instantly attracted. She finds him hard to resist – and then things get ugly. Trouble with a capital T puts Bristyl at risk, and Cooper, being more than a bit alpha, badass and intrigued by this girl, steps in with others from the club – bringing all sorts of attention from the wrong people, including the Sinister Sons. Two people, bred to different rival clubs with their own rules, guidelines and alliances is nothing to mess with – but Cooper doesn’t care. He wants Bristyl and from her reaction, that feeling is mutual – and he’ll suffer the consequences to get to know her better and see if there is more than an electric attraction between them.
Unlike many other MC romances, the club and the often arcane and misogynistic attitudes don’t play a huge part: this is two people wanting to explore an attraction to see if there is something real beneath the hormones. Slowly they build a relationship and learn to trust in one another, despite the real dangers offered by their connection. The more they get to know one another, the stronger their bond: choices must be made, but can they survive those choices to live a life together – especially since they have built something solid and lasting, even with the ‘melt the pages’ chemistry? A wonderful introduction to the series with both Cooper and Bristyl coming alive on the pages, bonding and encouraging readers to cheer them on despite the difficulty.
Narration for this story is provided by Joe Arden and Lucy Rivers – and together as Cooper and Bristyl their voices feel age-appropriate and work well together. Both are able to add a touch of emotional nuance that enhances their moments of angst or passion, and conversations and interior monologues from each character feel natural. The few secondary characters that enter the story feel more like a retelling of the moment from either Cooper or Bristyl, none are distinctly different in tone or delivery that would have indicated to the listener a new character has arrived. A workmanlike performance from both here, presenting the words on the page and adding appropriate emotional impact, adding to the interest and keeping me engaged.
Stars: Overall: 3 Narration: 3 Story: 3
Title: Bound by Family
Author: Ryan Michele
Series: Ravage MC Bound #1
Genre: Contemporary Motorcycle Romance - New Adult
Narrator: Joe Arden, Lucy Rivers
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 8 August, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 57 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Cooper Cruz knows what it means to be surrounded and bound by family. Loyalty, brotherhood, and protection are all learned, earned, and respected by him and the Ravage Motorcycle Club family he grew up in. At the same, he's a man, having fun and living the life he has always envisioned, until a trip to Florida changes everything. Bristyl Daniels knows what it means to be smothered and bound by family. Bonds run deep with her father and all the members of the Sinister Sons Motorcycle Club she has grown up in. But now she's all woman and wishes they would see she isn't a little girl anymore. Then one phone call gives her a chance meeting with a hunk of a man she can't get off her mind. When her favorite band comes to play at a motorcycle rally in her hometown, Bristyl decides it's worth the risk to sneak off for a little fun. When a situation gets heated, though, Cooper and the Ravage MC step in, setting off a chain of events, both good and bad in both their lives. As the dust settles, Bristyl will have to come to some very hard decisions. Meanwhile, Cooper knows exactly what he wants. To hell with the consequences. ** Bound by Family (Ravage MC Bound Series #1) is a standalone full-length novel. You do not have to read the Ravage MC series to follow this book, but if you'd like to see where it all started, you really should. **
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.