If you’d told me six months ago that I would read motorcycle club romances, I would have called you a lunatic. I assumed these stories would not be relatable and – for lack of a better word – icky. But after reading Maria Rose’s review of Megan Crane’s Devil’s Honor, I decided to give these bikers and their “old ladies” a chance and discovered I enjoyed them. Motorcycle Club romances are dirty, crude, dark and far outside most reader’s reality but then so is marrying a professional football player or having sex with a shape shifter.
I was eager to read the next book in The Devil’s Keepers series – Devil’s Mark – and according to my research (!) from watching Sons of Anarchy, it is a realistic depiction of motorcycle clubs, but the story is a lighter representation of the true lifestyle. Either book in the series is a good first dip into of this crazy world, so you do not need to follow the series order.
Holly Chambless is the mayor’s daughter in Lagrange, Louisiana, and known throughout for being an innocent, goody two shoes; she’s the town’s sorority princess. Her father always impressed upon her the need to behave according to his position as Mayor, and to do nothing that could reflect badly upon him – and she’s always complied. His image was recently shattered when he was revealed to be a liar, criminal and epic asshole, and Holly is disillusioned and pissed that she’s spent her whole life toeing the party line. She’s decided to give him the proverbial middle finger, ditch her innocent ways and get a little dirty. Working at the local biker bar and hangout, Dumb Gator’s, seems like just the place to start, but she never anticipated falling in love with a biker.
Killian “Uptown” Chenier is a member of the outlaw motorcycle club – Devil’s Keepers – that basically owns and runs Lagrange. He hates Holly’s father and resents her for being daddy’s little rich girl. He has a personal grudge against the Mayor, and the club has a beef with him too; therefore, he sees Holly’s jump off the her pedestal as an opportunity to use her for revenge. There is a kink in his plans for retribution when he discovers that he’s very attracted to her and actually likes her. He doesn’t want to feel either and would prefer she be the spoiled snob he’s always assumed she was. He is feeling a tad lost and conflicted about using her now, which makes him a very cranky and bad-tempered biker.
Holly is leery of the Devil’s Keepers and Uptown scares the bejesus out of her, but she’s also had the hots for him since she was sixteen and spied him screwing a woman on a tomb in the local cemetery. (This is a Motorcycle Club romance after all!) He’s an alpha-biker from the wrong side of the tracks and isn’t very nice to her, but she can’t seem to stop herself from wanting him. She discovers his true motives but isn’t distressed that he wants to hurt her father or use her to do it, because she also believes her dad should pay for his misdeeds. And – bonus – she wants to ditch her virginity. Their chemistry is electric and the sex is hot, but both develop feelings for each other that complicate matters and make this into much more than just revenge.
Uptown is a dirty talking, possessive and emotional hero who is quite ungentlemanly until his layers begin to peel back. He shows a protective side when he shields Holly from the harsher aspects of club life – he doesn’t even like her on display for other men while working at the bar. This is surprising for a man who is normally okay getting a blow job from a biker groupie without asking her name. (Remember… Motorcycle Club romance!) When he falls in love, he falls hard, and he’s pretty sweet under all those tattoos and leather.
Holly is afraid to believe Uptown might be more than just a lawless biker, because her father isn’t the only complication between them. Uptown’s life in the Devil’s Keepers is completely foreign to her, and being with him means adopting that lifestyle – at least to some degree – which isn’t an easy decision for any good, Southern girl.
Devil’s Mark has a few murders, illegal business ventures, explicit sex and lots of foul language, but it has more than just motorcycle club shtick. The story explores the fierce loyalty of men who choose to belong to a brotherhood they consider their family and a child’s discovery that her own family isn’t perfect. At the heart of all the violence and c-words, this is a romance about two opposites who find common ground through love in a gruffer, rougher way. If you’re curious about biker romances, this is a great place to indulge yourself. Devil’s Mark is a well-written and exciting book, and its unpredictable story will take you places you might never go – unless you join an outlaw motorcycle club.