BXTCHES Gotta Warn: This book ends on a cliffhanger, if you are looking to read a stand-alone, this is not the one. Book #2 is out, so there is no wait time to pick up where this one leaves off, I just know how some readers feel about cliffhangers. Now, you BXTCHES have been warned.
What Doesn’t Destroy Us is book #1 in the Devil’s Dust Series and I must say, it’s a pretty good start. I came across this when I was checking out some book recommendations on Facebook, so I shot on over to Amazon and downloaded a sample. Usually when I am making the decision to read a book by an author I haven’t previously read, I check out the reviews. I mean, here I am writing a review on this book, so it stands to reason that I would check out the reviews. Most were good, but I also check out the ones that aren’t so favorable and one review actually said (and I quote) “Can you say Sons of Anarchy”, now I’m a huge fan of that show, so my thought was, “I don’t want to read a ripped off version of one of my favorite shows”. Then I went ahead with the book and after reading it, I can only think that the person who wrote that review must not have ever seen an episode of SOA, because I don’t think there are any comparisons one can make to that show, other than the fact they are both centered around motorcycle clubs. Well, I guess we should get on with this book.
This book will be told through the POV’s of Dani and Shadow.
Dani is a twenty-one year old single woman living in New York with her mother, Sadie, and her mother’s boyfriend, Stevin. As the book begins, Dani is woken up one night by her mother, demanding that she pack a bag because they have to get out of town. No explanation, just get up and get going. Once on the plane, Sadie begins to explain things to Dani. Sadie witnessed Stevin murder some cops, they have to get to L.A., because Dani’s dad is going to offer them protection. Now, Dani doesn’t know her dad, has never even met him, in fact, her mother has never had a pleasant thing to say about him. Her dad happens to be Bull, the President of the Devil’s Dust MC. Oh, and he has no idea that he even has a daughter. Of course, there’s a story to why he doesn’t know about Dani and why Sadie left Bull, but we won’t go into it here.
Once they arrive in L.A., there are greeted by a couple of Devil’s Dust members, one of them being, Shadow. Shadow is the Sergeant-At-Arms for the club and may be the hottest thing Dani has ever seen. The same can be said for Shadow as well, but once he looks into Dani’s eyes, he realizes he is actually looking into the eyes of Bull and knows she is off limits. Once they arrive at the clubhouse and everything gets settled, it’s difficult for both Dani and Shadow to continue and deny their sexual attraction to one another. Eventually they give into them and burn up the sheets.
In typical MC read fashion, Shadow may be feeling things for Dani, but he doesn’t feel that he is worthy of a whole lot where relationships are concerned, so this is of course something that will be the focus of the book. He definitely has a past that would’ve fucked up anyone, so his story, while predictable, is understandable.
Dani and her mother have a relationship that is hanging on by a thread. Her mother is very manipulative and demeaning in the way she treats her only child. A lot of it has to with the fact that Dani’s dad is the President of a motorcycle club and even though Dani has never met him, her mother sees a lot of Bull in Dani and in an effort to “fix” it, she acts in a way that would make most mothers cringe. Add to that, once Dani gets around the MC, she begins feeling that the MC is really where she belongs and she starts to realize that she has more of her father running through her blood than her mother and she is surprisingly okay with that.
We have to discuss Shadow real quick. I enjoyed him, but I say that somewhat reluctantly. He was very hot and cold. I understand most of it has to do with his past and what he feels he “deserves”, etc. It’s just there were moments that you really fall for him and then moments that you’re kind of screaming for Dani to “get out” while she can. I’m hoping I fall a little more for him in book #2.
The cast that surround Dani and Shadow are very well written. While we get introduced to several members of the MC, it’s not going to be a slew of them. Of course, with every MC read there are the club whores, in this one, mainly Candy. Now there is an underlying story with Candy’s mom and Dani’s mom that I thought would expand more than it did here (and it may in book #2), so that was a little bit of a let down. I must say that the author did a phenomenal job writing the character of Bobby. He was funny and witty and let’s not forget, hot. I almost enjoyed him more than I did Shadow and I can’t wait to read his story in book #3.
With every MC read you know that there is going to sex and lots of it. This one is really no different. I thought that the scenes were written well, however they did tend to get a little wordy and in my own sexual opinion, not enough foreplay. It was all “cock straight into pussy”, which is fine in some scenes, but it was like that for most of the scenes. Can a girl get a little oral action here? But, the straight intercourse was hot and written well enough to curl the toes.
I’ve said before that the MC genre is one of my favorites, if it’s done right. I need for an MC read to have some strong “Alphaness” in it. I need the grit and crime that comes with a motorcycle club, and I need that involved in the book. I need for the sex to melt the panties right off of you, and I need for the secondary characters to bring a whole other layer to the book. I can say that What Doesn’t Destroy Us offers all of that and while it may not shoot to the top of my “MC Favorites” list, I will invest my time into the series.
As the book picks up, it does get grittier and when I hit around the 50% mark, I thought I was going to give it “3 hearts”, but after completing the book and seeing the way the author took the ending actually shocked me, pleasantly so, and that’s not easy to do with me. I was honestly surprised that I didn’t see the turn of events coming. So, because of that, I had to move it to “4 hearts”.