I have a love-hate relationship with the MC romance genre; thus, very few get a very high rating out of me. The heroes in the MC world are mostly manwhore, alpha-holes and the heroines are too dim and/or damsel-y and/or okay with the heroes’ barbaric antics. There are a few writers who I’ve been able to suppress my womanist button (somewhat) and just go with it…Joanna Wylde is one such author. I’ve been hanging with Joanna Wylde since book 1 of the Reapers MC series. Ms. Wylde’s books are a guilty pleasure…the stories are gritty but have just the right amount of sweet and sexy to appease me delicate sensibilities.
We first met Puck Redhouse in Reaper’s Stand; he gave me a bit of a creepy, mysterious vibe, so I was interested to see what his story was and who he’d be paired with. Puck has been in prison for a year on weapon charges. There’s a big party to celebrate Puck’s release and he sees Becca Jones who seems different from the rest of the “club whores”. Puck and Becca have a passionate night together and then things go to hell the next morning when Puck learns that Becca is jailbait, which could land him right back in prison. Puck and his MC brothers rescue Becca from an epically bad situation and bring her to Callup, Idaho to keep her safe. Puck continues to watch over Becca from afar but they don’t have much one-on-one interaction.
Five years have passed. Becca is happy; she has close friends and a foster family who love her and have helped her overcome her past. She’s working and close to graduating from cosmetology school. Puck hasn’t been a monk these five years, but he never got Becca out of his system.
“[…] you’ve pushed me about as far as I’m willing to go with this friend bullshit. I’m not your friend, Becca. I’ve never been your friend and I never will be. I can be the man who f***s you and owns you, or I can be the man who keeps an eye on you to make sure your stepdad doesn’t come and steal you back. I can even be the man who watches while you find a nice little boyfriend you can control and settle down to make babies together like normal people. But don’t you f***ing dare issue any more invitations unless you’re ready to handle me and don’t pretend for one second you aren’t fully aware what that means.”
Becca hasn’t exactly forgotten Puck, but the MC life isn’t one she wants to revisit.
“Since leaving California, I’d lived my life according to one basic rule—I called it the Mom Principle. When in doubt, think about what Mom would do. Then do the exact opposite. It’d never failed me. Mom loved bikers, which meant I needed to stay the hell away from them. Hold out for a nice guy.”
I liked the overall storyline. Usually starting a book off with anonymous and underage sexy time would turn me all the way off from a book, I wasn’t even bothered by how that first night went down between Becca and Puck, but I had some trouble connecting with Puck and Becca individually and as a couple. I wished we learned more of Puck’s backstory as Silver Bastard is overwhelmingly about Becca’s life and her continued troubles with her mother. This book is sort of insta-love-y in that Puck is having a casual relationship with a club girl, yet he’s über possessive and jealous over Becca after barely no interaction since their one night together.
Then there’s Becca, who in large part is the president of Club Bad Decisions. I tried to give Becca break because she’s still quite young and most would have a hard time giving up on their mother, even when people like Becca’s mother don’t deserve one iota of forgiveness or hope. Becca’s repeated f*** ups after ample advice to the contrary definitely wore thin for me.
Other than that, Silver Bastards is a good addition to the MC repetoire of Joanna Wylde. Although, the characters frustrated me at points, I was engaged and like others by Ms. Wylde the ending was perfectly sweet and sexy. The subplot with Rourke was a wee bit confusing to me and the additional epilogue, gave me all kinds of…
Guess we shall see what comes of the Silver Valley drama in the next book. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next wild ride.