Lately I have this new guilty pleasure: reading MC biker romance stories. It started with watching Sons of Anarchy of course, followed by reading some Kristen Ashley novels and from there on I lost control. I’ve now read quite a few different stories and bought even more.
My latest read in this genre is Cole by Megan O’Brien. It’s one that is far less gritty and much tamer than most of the MC stories so far.

The blurb:
For eight years I’d been content with my quiet life. I was safe in the bubble I’d built for myself. But I wasn’t really living.
Until one chance encounter changed it all.
Scarlet Malone has lived quietly for years hiding from her past. Aside from her best friend Kat she doesn’t allow herself to get close to anyone. Then Cole Jackson, Vice President of The Knights MC comes bursting into her life with his gorgeous eyes and fierce determination to have her in his bed and his life.
Scarlet’s letting her walls down for the first time in her life. Could Cole really be her happily ever after?

When Scarlet’s past becomes their present will she run to protect those she loves? Or can she trust in Cole to protect her life and her heart?

I did enjoy this novel, although it did have some serious flaws too. For me the most important minus was that it couldn’t hold my attention throughout the whole narrative due to some dips in pacing and the suspense arc. The suspense consists of an ex boyfriend causing some serious trouble for the heroine, Scarlet. A few weak attempts are made to hurt her, which lacked some real suspense in my opinion. This arc was alternated with the romantic development between Scarlet and Cole, which had its moments. And then there were periods that nothing much happened at all. Overall, there were too many parts in the novel without any tension of some sort at all.

Another minus is that Scarlet is the sole narrator and has as such the habit of summarizing the story with phrases like "the next couple of weeks nothing much happened" or "A few quiet days followed after this or that incident". I find this kind of storytelling annoying when it happens too often. Especially towards the end it occurred more frequently.

Furthermore, a few twists and turns in the plot made me raise my eyebrows a couple of times, because I’m not a big fan of insta-love or of lust burning so hot it makes the use of condoms superfluous (with its obvious consequences), or of TSTL actions from the heroine.

What I did like most was the hero’s growly, possessive alpha goodness I’m afraid. I never would tolerate that kind of behavior from my lover (of course) but it makes me weak in the knees when a fictional man acts like a big commanding alpha biker. Cole is sexy like that and yet he has a kind heart. Although I must say that he stays a bit two dimensional perhaps, he is a hero to fall in lust with nonetheless. I hope to see more of him and Scarlet in the second book in this series, which will be about Kat and Sal, both friends from the heroine and hero of this first installment.

Overall, this was not a bad read. 3 stars

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