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.Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan
Published by Berkley Books on January 29, 2019
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, Fire Bound, Bound Together
Second in the Torpedo Ink paranormal romance series (16th in the Drake Sisters, a.k.a., Sea Haven, and 8th in the Sisters of the Heart) and revolving around a crusading motorcycle club whose members came out of the same stew as the men who married the women in the Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart (which is more immediately relevant to Torpedo Ink). The MC is based in Caspar, California, next door to Sea Haven. The couple focus is on Breezy Simmons and Steele.
Feehan does know how to get your emotions up and steaming in this overly melodramatic tale of spurned love.
It starts with Breezy whose origins are so incredibly horrible, growing up with that “father” and “brother”. People who have no respect for women and very few uses. It’s so incredibly disgusting. Torpedo Ink is better in how they view women, but they’re just as bossy.
It’s that third-person dual point-of-view that lets us see that Steele thinks he and Breezy can just pick up where they left off…and that Breezy ain’t havin’ it. And allows us to watch as the protagonists gain insight into themselves. It’s Breezy who gains more, simply by being around Blythe and the kids, seeing how the MC interacts with the children. It’s heartwarming to read of these big bad boys melting around the kids AND Blythe, lol. Based on her past, Bree’s certainly shocked by how the boys pitch in and help, LMAO.
One series conflict that keeps things interesting is Czar’s worry that the Diamondbacks will see them as a problem. It makes for a tricky balancing act. Another is more of a mental conflict, for none of Torpedo Ink has any clue how to behave in what we’d consider a normal social manner — Feehan does a nice job of helping the reader to understand how much these boys missed through their brutal childhoods, even their comfort with the others around when they’re having sex makes sense. Nor are they the only ones with awkward social problems; Breezy has this problem in spades!
In fact, all the MC clubs are wondering about Torpedo Ink after events in Judgment Road, 1.
As annoying as all the melodrama and questioning is in this, I can appreciate Breezy’s concerns about what’s real and what’s not. Her past certainly hasn’t prepared her for trust. And Breezy’s stubbornness refuses to let Steele run over her.
We get a lot more back history on life back in Sorbacov’s “schools”. Keep the tissue handy.
Oh, Christ, the lame I’ll-sacrifice-myself meme, then there’s the I-have-no-clue-about-danger. What? Does Feehan have a list she needs to fulfill?
Yeah, and I’m not believing “everyone’s” recognition of Breezy as the go-to woman that Feehan suddenly throws out there…wtf? I thought I’d missed a chapter.
With all that, it’s a blend of plenty of action and unique characters with a pace that feels slow mainly because Bree and Steele are each constantly “whining”. Oy.
Breezy Simmons escaped the MC life and has no intention of going back…until her past catches up with her. She’ll need Steele’s help, the man who drove her away with cruel words.
Now she must go to Caspar to seek out the man who almost destroyed her. The man who chose his club over her and left her feeling used and alone.
Steele has no intention of letting her walk away this time. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Breezy his woman again — especially when he learns the real reason she came to him for help, and that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined…
Breezy Simmons has been in hiding from the motorcycle club in which she grew up. Zane is her son. The detestable Carlotta Simmons was Bree’s grandmother who beat her son, Bree’s father, Bridges. Boone Abernathy, her grandfather and a member of the Swords, is from a very wealthy family and who has spent time in jail.
Lyov Russak, a.k.a., Steele, has his medical degree, a perfect complement to his healing Gift and is vice-president of Torpedo Ink. He’s also a stone-cold killer and the club strategist.
Torpedo Ink, Caspar, California, is…
…a motorcycle club that works for the government as assassins, tracks down child predators, destroys trafficking rings, eliminates threats, and escorts people through a territory. Its members include Viktor Prakenski, a.k.a., Czar, who is the president, a natural leader. He’s married to Blythe, a massage therapist; they have four adopted children: Emily, Darby, and Zoe who are birth sisters and Kenny, on Blythe’s farm (Bound Together, 6). Savva (Reaper) and Savin (Savage who is their premier assassin) Pajari, brothers, are the sergeants-at-arms who guard Czar. Reaper’s story was Judgment Road, 1, in which he took up with Anya, the bartender at their clubhouse where Heidi and Betina are waitresses (and patch chasers). Isaak Koval, a.k.a., Ice, is the secretary; Dmitry Koval, his brother, a.k.a., Storm, likes to take pictures; Alena Koval, their sister, a.k.a., Torch, is opening a restaurant; Luca Llitvin, a.k.a., Code, is the treasurer and brilliant with computers; Maksimos Korsak, a.k.a., Ink, does their tattoos and has opened a tattoo parlor; Kasimir Popov, a.k.a., Preacher, is Lana “Widow” Popov‘s brother; Nikolaos Bolotan, a.k.a., Mechanic, is Pytor “Transporter” Bolontan’s brother, and they’ve opened a garage; Andrii Federoff, a.k.a., Maestro, and Lazar Alexeev, a.k.a., Keys, are Steele’s guards; Gedeon Lazaroff, a.k.a., Player, Kir Vasiliev, a.k.a., Master; and, Aleksei Solokov, a.k.a., Absinthe, their club lie detector and lawyer (Demyan had been his brother and would have been the nineteenth survivor), are the core members. Fatei, Glitch, and Hyde are prospects. These men are the only ones who survived Sorbacov’s schools.
Sea Haven, California, is…
…the home of the Drake Sisters. Sheriff Jackson Deveau (married Elle Drake in Hidden Currents, 7) had worked with Torpedo Ink to bring down the Swords. Jackson’s dad had been a sergeant-at-arms for the Swords.
Inez Nelson and Frank Warner run the grocery store in Sea Haven. Deveau is their silent partner. Torpedo Ink wants to partner up with them.
The Demons are…
…a motorcycle club in California allying with Torpedo Ink (Judgment Road). Hammer is their president.
Another MC led by Mavra comes for a party.
The Diamondbacks are…
…a powerful international 1-percenter motorcycle club that pretty much rules California. Pierce, an enforcer, is with their Mendocino chapter.
The Guns and Skull are…
…a motorcycle club in Santa Fe who owe Torpedo Ink favors.
The Louisiana Chapter of the Swords are…
…the motorcycle club where Breezy grew up…and was used…hard. Habit had been their president. Bridges Simmons is Breezy’s terror of a father and the current leader for this chapter. Braden, a.k.a., Junk, is Bridges’ son and half-brother to Breezy. The brutal Donk is Bridges’ sergeant-at-arms who likes to hurt those weaker than him. Favor, Riddle, the clumsy Bruiser, Scalp, and Dart are members. Candy is younger than Breezy; Lizard is her father…and there’s something off in their relationship…ick…
Cat is a computer hacker friend of Code’s. Delia is the woman who took Breezy in and helped her. “Phil McBride” is the man who rented the house. Harry Bannister rides a bike and patronizes the Torpedo Ink bar. He’s also a friend of Anya’s who ensures he’s okay. His son has issues.
Evan Shackler-Gratsos had been the international president, who ticked Sorbacov off once too often. Sorbacov was the evil pedophile who ran those torturing schools in Russia. Jose Merhi in Venezuela was a pedophile Sorbacov was grooming. A 1-percenter is the percentage of bikers who prefer the outlaw way.
The Cover and Title
The cover is roiling in its background of an abstract of Steele’s rusty, bloody-looking bike covering a bit more than half of the bottom cover and a blue and white angry river ending in a waterfall just the other side of the highway railing. In front of the water is a jeans- and boot-clad Steele, his short dark hair tousled, wearing a black leather vest over a black T-shirt, his bare, tattooed left arm clutching the handle of his bike. There’s a questioning look on his face which is turned to face us, but his eyes look off to the left. There’s a white info blurb just above his right arm with the chiseled author’s name large beneath that. The series info is below that with the title in a watery blue below that.
The title is the Vengeance Road Breezy’s dad is riding.