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Friday, November 7, 2014

Riding Steele by Opal Carew (Review)

Title: Riding Steele
Series: Riding Steel - 6 part serial
Author: Opal Carew
Published: November - December 2014
Format: Galley, St Martin's Griffin
Pages: approx 35 each

Being kidnapped by bikers is a harrowing experience, but for some reason, Laurie doesn’t feel as terrified as she should. The leader’s steely eyes soften when he looks at her, and the others in his gang clearly know she’s hands off. But does that include Steele's hands? Her brain resists him, but her body insists she wants those big hands all over her.

Steele doesn’t know how he wound up in this mess–with a kidnapped woman on his hands and the police hot on their trail. Now he and Laurie are in hiding at an isolated cabin, and Steele has to figure out how to extricate himself . . . and steer clear of his accidental captive whose tight, slinky clubbing attire is making him think all kinds of dangerous thoughts…

This week I read Opal Carew's latest serial, Riding Steele.  An erotic serial about bikers?  Sounds like my cup of tea. Some of this serial has already been released, but the majority of it releases over November and into December, if you are interested. 

The blurb had me highly interested.  It sounded like it could have a dark twist, which I just love.  Kidnapping with an HEA?  Sounds great.  While I did enjoy the overall book, there were some things I did have issue with. In the end I'd give this a solid middle grade.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. 

Steele is the unofficial leader of a motorcycle club, except they are really just a group of friends who travel on their bikes together.  It's not like an organized club.  As for Steele himself, he seems like a genuine guy.  He's big - and in some ways he is absolutely huge (hint hint).  Unfortunately, Steele is also where my problems come in.  The character was not very consistent at all.  One minute he was on board for kidnapping Laurie, the next he wasn't.  Then he wanted her, then he very vehemently didn't, and then he did.  He wanted to share her with his friends (I'll get to that in a moment) and then he punches his best friend out for sharing a touching moment with her.  The Steele rollercoaster was not a ride I would take again. 

As for Laurie, she was just alright.  Her character was more consistent for the most part, although when she did flip her opinion, she did it fast and without very much thought at all.  But she's a clever woman, and makes several escape attempts, and that right there was interesting to watch go down. 

The secondary characters are what caught my eye, specifically Rip, Raven, and Wild Card.  Those three showed heart, loyalty, and care several times.  I really liked them, and would probably pick up a book that featured them more prominently. 

Now, the storyline... Laurie ends up being kidnapped, but it's for her own good.  And that part is totally spot on.  She needs to escape a major creep, and Wild Card does that for her, even if she isn't in agreement.  Hey, it wouldn't be a kidnapping if she was, ya know? The group slowly falls in line, and you see everyone's position.  That's all pretty interesting how it goes down. 

The sex... there wasn't huge amounts of it.  There was a lot of sexual tension, and a few menages... even a menage a seven (if I counted right!).  However, the menages (there were a couple) didn't feel natural to me.  They felt like they were there, and the story was written so we could see these group sex scenes.  They didn't feel right to me.  The thing I like about biker books is that sure, the men are whores, but when they find that one woman, then everything changes and they are all about her.  But in this group, the two women are passed around freely.  I don't know, it just didn't feel right to me. 

But hey, if you are looking for something quick to read (I read this whole thing in one night), then check it out.  There are some exciting bits, and a bit of on the run action.  There is the whole creep of a boyfriend to deal with - and trust me - you won't like him at all.  Donovan is definitely the bad guy.  The end felt a bit off, but it all ends up where it is supposed to, I suppose.  Like I said, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.