Book Review: Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan

Posted March 16, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan
Published by Berkley on January 28, 2020
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Air Bound, Rocky Mountain Miracle, Power Game, Earth Bound, Spider Game, "Dark Crime", Judgment Road, Toxic Game, Vengeance Road, Fire Bound, Bound Together, Shadow Warrior, Leopard's Wrath, Wild Cat, Cat's Lair, Lethal Game, Desolation Road, Shadow Flight, Magic in the Wind, Oceans of Fire, Twilight Before Christmas, Dangerous Tides, Leopard's Rage, Reckless Road

Third in the Torpedo Ink paranormal romance series and revolving around a motorcycle club determined to have a “normal” life in Caspar, northern California. The couple focus is on Soleil Brodeur and “Ice” Koval. This is a spin-off series from Feehan’s overall Sea Haven (16th) and its spin-off series Sisters of the Heart (9th).

My Take

If you’re looking for a whole lotta exhibitionist sex with touches of story here and there…this one’s for you. I found it tedious, wading through all the repetitive whining on Soleil’s and Ice’s parts. And, yes, the sex was tedious as well. If only Feehan had done more to emphasize the emotions with more show rather than all this tell.

Soleil was such a weak character with her drifting along and the whining about never having a home. If she’s got all this money, why didn’t she create a home for herself? Why keep drifting through hotel rooms? She’s an adrenaline junkie but is such a scaredy cat? Ohhh, there’s nothing left for her…ohhhhh… Jeez, how lame is this character??

There was a bit of humor in Soleil and Ice wanting the same thing but not admitting it to each other. They’re so perfect for each other, in spite of the insta-love, and yet they whinge along in conflict believing the other couldn’t possibly want what they want. More ohhhh…*eye roll*…

Winston is so full of red flags that I can’t believe Soleil puts up with him for so long. An obvious bit of foreshadowing is Soleil’s complaint that Winston is not adventurous in bed. I gotta wonder about that comment Soleil makes about Kevin never wanting her in his home as well. Another bit of foreshadowing?

Why was it so important that Ice marry Soleil so fast?

It is cute that Soleil sees the brothers as sweet men when Ice sees them as a pack of vicious wolves. Czar is totally with the wolf pack metaphor, but more in terms of cooperation and coordination. There’s a telling paragraph in which Czar considers what he’s done to his people, making them killers. But he’s wrong. It was the “teachers” who did that. He simply gave them hope. Simply? Whew.

Does Soleil not know anything about motorcycle clubs? She thinks they’re all such wimps?

Jeez, how can men think this way? Think this is okay to abuse, torture, and rape children? It’s amazing the excuses people can come up with to explain their…needs. Okay, I’m sick, because it makes me so happy when Avery gets to experience what he put kids through. I just wish more of the perpetrators experienced more pain.

In this, the drives and needs of the characters are the action, fulfilling the overall series arc of putting away pedophiles and finding how to fit their humanity into a mainstream world. Ice has his big revelation, relationship-wise, that it’s a two-way street, that it can’t be all just his way. Too bad Feehan didn’t make this believable.

Feehan has created a hideous background for the men and women of Torpedo Ink, and it certainly makes for “interesting” pair-ups. I guess I keep reading this series because I like the physical fight action, the strategies they come up with, and that they are protecting children. I want the bad guys to be taken down hard. And Torpedo Ink does this. I also like the supportiveness of this group, that they’re working to be better people. Keeping an eye out for each other. Even better, each man is open to becoming a better person. Although, it does take Ice a while *grin*.

The Story

It’s been more and more difficult for Ice to engage emotionally…until he sees Soleil.

In Vegas for Steele’s wedding to Breezy and to take down an auction site, Ice encounters Soleil. And it’s all over for him.

The Characters

Soleil Brodeur is a poor little rich girl passed from relative to relative as an orphan. Kevin Bennet is the lawyer who has managed Soleil’s trust fund and life for years. Aunt Deborah died when Soleil was eight; Aunt Constance was a pain until ten.

Isaak “Ice” Koval, the club secretary, creates one-of-a-kind jewelry and backs up his brothers. Dmitry “Storm” is his twin. Alena is their younger sister who is opening her new restaurant.

Torpedo Ink is…
…a motorcycle club (MC) whose members were taught some mad skills…as assassins and sexual objects. Out of 287 “students”, only these eighteen survived. Czar is their president; Blythe is his wife. She takes in orphans and makes them part of the family. Kenny was the last son they adopted (Bound Together, 13); Jimmy will be the newest, the little boy they rescue in Las Vegas. Reaper is the sergeant-at-arms and guards the president; Anya is his woman and tends bar at the clubhouse (Judgment Road, 14). Steele, a doctor and the club vice-president, is getting married to Breezy (Vengeance Road, 15). They have a son, Zane. Savage, Reaper’s younger brother, is a club enforcer; both brothers can mimic anything. Code has some mad computer skills. Transporter (he has amazing hand-eye coordination) and Mechanic (he has an energy field in his body he can use to disrupt electricity), brothers, have opened up a garage. Absinthe is a lawyer with an ability to detect lies who can influence people with his voice. Lana, a.k.a., Widow, is as lethal as Alena. Preacher is Lana’s brother. Maestro can play anything. Player and Keys are the remaining members of the MC. The prospects include Glitch, Fatei, and Hitch. Bannister is a nomad who hangs out at the club, pitches in.

Trinity is…
…a second chapter in Torpedo Ink with twenty-five newer members, from one of the other brutal, but legitimate schools in Russia. Casimir Prakenskii, Czar’s birth brother, is married to Lissa, a famous glassblower (Fire Bound, 12). Lexi, who runs the sisters’ farm, and Gavriil Prakenskii (Earth Bound, 11) are also related to Czar.

Sea Haven
Inez Nelson owns a grocery store and is partnering up with Torpedo Ink to open one in Caspar. Jonas Harrington is the local sheriff (Safe Harbor, 5). Jackson Deveau is Harrington’s deputy (Hidden Currents, 7).

The Diamondbacks are…
…a powerful international 1-percenter motorcycle club that pretty much rules California and that Torpedo Ink has been trying to avoid. Oh, well. Torpedo Ink is now a support club to them and under watch. Pierce is an enforcer for their Mendocino chapter and has a thing for Alena.

Fred is a biker with the Venomous MC. Jerk. The Demons are allied with Torpedo Ink. Twisted Steel likes to think they’re badass. Stallion is another clueless jerk.

The widowmakers…
…seduce women, marry them, and murder them and include Winston Trent; Cooper Knight loves his “work”; Bob Flannigan is friends with Cooper but doesn’t care for the “job”; Darrin Johnson and Ben Thurston have done most everything together, including sharing women; and, Peter Daniels are the con men. Donald Monroe is the new high-powered lawyer. Harbin Conner is an assistant chief of police in San Francisco, Judge Bonner James, Dr Cyrus Mills, Detective Danny Sullivan with the SFPD, CHP Officer Paul Bailey likes to blackmail people, Dr Ronny Tiptree is a medical examiner, and Simon Overfield is a mortician.

The pedophiles
Russ Jarvis and Billy Kent own a chain of grocery stores; Dr Hank Bernard prefers little boys; George Durango; Paul Bitters is a respected fire chief who knows all the cops; Rick Marshal had been the pickup driver in Vegas who had his wife raped by Yeger Kushnir and Basil Alanis so he could continue to abuse his daughters; Terrance Marshal is Rick’s brother who knows the collector; Avery Charles, who runs a website and makes snuff films, bought Walter Handlin‘s mansion (Bound Together) and runs the SFPD’s tech department; Harold McDonald is a sheriff in Occidental; David Swey is a hotdog vendor; Jay Gordon; and, Phil Roberson are all part of this human trafficking ring.

Tabitha “Tabs” works reception at the massage place. Sanders is a biker at the first bar in Las Vegas. The snooty Diana owns a fancy boutique where Lana and Alena spend a lot of money. Sorbacov was the sadist who murdered parents who opposed him and took their children to train in his schools. Mistress Scarlet has regular sessions with Judge James. “Alice Burns” takes care of Peter.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a rocky feel to it with its range of yellowish browns in the hills that make up the background. Ice has a rugged look, long hair flying in the breeze, wearing a filthy white T-shirt, black leather vest, and jeans as he roars along on his burgundy bike. The text is crowded across Ice’s lower half with an info blurb in white and the author’s name below that in a chiseled pale blue. The series info is tucked between her name and the title with the series and title in a blended white-to-yellow gradation.

The title is what Soleil needs and where the club rides, along Vendetta Road.

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