♦♦♦ RELEASE DATE AUGUST 4TH ♦♦♦
Me, when I read the blurb for Make You Burn on NetGalley…
Sophie Lombard is the daughter of Priest, the president of the Deacons of Bourbon Street MC; therefore, has always been off-limits to Ajax, the club VP (and any other club brother, for that matter). Ajax has been away from New Orleans for ten long years after being exiled by Priest for some ish that went down with the club. During that time, Sophie has gone from a doe-eyed teen with a crush on Ajax to a sexy bombshell walking the streets of downtown NOLA in gold hot pants and pasties on the day Ajax rides back into town. Ajax is home to pay his respects to his club president and move on; he has no plans to claim Priest’s daughter or restore his club.
If you’re looking for sweet and romantic, Make You Burn isn’t that book. Stop, do not pass GO, and do not buy this book if that’s what you need in your life. If you’re looking for a hero who whispers tender, sweet nothings to his heroine, Ajax isn’t the hero for you. Ajax is prime, Grade-A, crude alpha-hole material — straight, no chaser! I’d have loved to find out the reason why Sean Harding came to be named, Ajax, after a Greek god. A name which he is very adamant that Sophie use as his “real” name.
Make You Burn is a book that, admittedly, I almost gave up on in the first 10% when Ajax and Sophie have their first meeting. I’ll just say it involves Ajax’s hands around Sophie’s neck as he dry humps her to orgasm against a wall.
Sophie isn’t exactly a sweet, good girl either. She was raised by the MC. Despite her father’s attempts to keep her out of it, the MC world is pretty much all Sophie knows. Sophie had a smart mouth and she wasn’t afraid to stand up to Ajax. If I’m reading a hero like Ajax, I damn sure don’t want his lady to be a shrinking, delicate, hothouse flower. I enjoyed the tension and chemistry between Sophie and Ajax. Their angry smexing was deliciously hot. The chemistry is what made me stick with Make You Burn, when I got bored with all the telling, not showing here.
That leads me to what I didn’t like about Make You Burn…
There’s going to be a running subplot that connects the four books planned for this series — the why and how surrounding Priest’s death. It’s only touched on briefly in Make You Burn; presumably so that readers have reason to continue with the series. Unfortunately, in this book, it was so brief that it got lost for me. Also, I felt like there was a missed opportunity to get to know the other three members of the Deacons MC a little; giving readers an incentive to be excited about the books to come.
Make You Burn is insta-love. Without much dialogue (I’ll get back to that in a moment), copious amounts of angry sex and harsh words between Sophie and Ajax, I had a hard time digesting that they’d be ready to make life-long commitments in the week since their tumultuous reunion.
This story is told in the protagonists’ inner thoughts, not shown through real-time action. I found Ms. Crane’s prose long-winded at times; thus, making the lack of dialogue particularly irksome. Because we spend so much time in their heads, the changing POV was jarring without any transitions or segues. In many instances, I found myself re-reading sentences to figure out whose perspective the story was happening from at that time. Sadly, the only instances that consistently happen in real-time seemed to be the sex scenes.
Overall, a decent start to this series. If you want gritty MC romance, don’t mind an alpha-hole hero and a heroine who knows the score, then I’d recommend Make You Burn. I was left with some questions so I wouldn’t call this a true stand-alone. For that reason, I will continue the series with the next book to see what happens.
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*