Sunday, December 14, 2014

review || CRUSH { blog tour }

Young love is always perfect. Until it's not.

Crush by JC Emery

Publisher: Left Break Press (11/18/2014)
Series: Bayonet Scars, book 4
Genre: Motorcycle Romance
Source: InkSlinger

My Rating:

Cheyenne Grady is a total daddy's girl to her bad-ass father, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Forsaken Motorcycle Club. She's funny, and kind, and she just wants that deep, earth-shattering love like her dad has with her school secretary, Holly. But Cheyenne's been looking in the wrong direction, because the only good that can come from the way she looks at Jeremy Whelan is a lesson in heartbreak.

Jeremy always wanted to prospect for the Forsaken Motorcycle Club and wear the same patch as his father. When a life-long dream becomes reality, Jeremy realizes that the outlaw lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it easy on relationships. He wants to be a good man, but temptation is everywhere.

Cheyenne is beautiful, and strong, and exactly what Jeremy could have forever. As long as he doesn't screw it up.

Love is never more powerful than the first time.

about jc emery || As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year round in Northern California and can't imagine a climate more beautiful. JC writes adult, new adult, and young adult fiction. She dabbles in many different genres including science fiction, horror, chick lit, and murder mysteries, yet she is most enthralled by supernatural stories-- and everything has at least a splash of romance.

connect || website | twitter | facebook

{ excerpts } . 


“Well,” I say slowly. The idea's forming in my head, but it's stupid. I shouldn't be thinking about this. Ever. The only thing that can come out of this is a majorly broken heart.
“Yeah?” Tracie says, eyes widening and waiting for me to finish.
“What if we... sneak into the party at the clubhouse...” I say and then shove my face into my hands. I feel like an idiot. Jeremy and I had one date-- one truly awful date-- and we haven’t had a kind word to say to each other since I threatened to push him out of my bedroom window after he tried to maul me. But the idea of him turning eighteen at the clubhouse with all of the Lost Girls and the wanna-be whores who haven't earned the title yet leaves an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. I just want to know, to see what's happening for myself. Daniel's going to be there, too. He's still texting me, and I'm texting back now, so I kind of also want to know what he's up to. If he's hooking up with someone during the party, then he doesn't like me enough for me to continue to let him pursue me.
“You don't actually have to sneak in. The doors will be open,” Tracie says. “It's so loud and dark in there, I doubt anyone will notice us.”
“No, they’ll have security this time. Things are kind of tense with the club,” I say and wave the gun in the air. It’s a fine art—telling the truth without telling too much.
“They have prospects at the gate and I highly doubt any of them would be stupid enough to turn you away.”



Pulling my phone out of my pocket when it chimes, I read the message that awaits me. It’s from Jeremy and says, WHERE R U?
OUT, I text back.
I FUCKIN KNOW THAT. WHERE R U? he responds. I so don’t want to tell him where I’m at or what I’m doing, but he can be relentless and I think I need his help anyway, so I give him the address of the neighbor lady. I hope he doesn’t recognize the street name as the Jennings’ street, but knowing my luck, he will.
DON’T MOVE, he says.
ON WAY HOME, I write back in hopes that this will calm him down.
It doesn’t.
DON’T FUCKIN MOVE, he says and finishes it off with, I GOT 2 HUNT U DOWN, I WON’T BE HAPPY.
That makes two of us, dude. He shouldn’t be looking for me. He’s not on patrol at the house anymore since Dad caught wind of Jeremy’s antics about switching out detail with Diesel anytime he was supposed to be keeping an eye on me. If Dad sent him to find me, then I’m in even more trouble than I think. Oh well, all I know is that I’m fed up with running into one roadblock after another. I’m basically getting nowhere with everything I’m doing and if Jeremy can shed some light on some of this, then maybe working with him won’t be so terrible. I shouldn’t want to share this with him, but I kind of do. For some reason, I trust that he won’t rat me out. I shouldn't want to share anything with him, especially considering I've already shared him with the former bestie. The pain from that betrayal is still too fresh to think about it without getting upset. Still, this is information the club might need so I'm going to try to set my feelings aside. I'm not getting very far on my own and Holly is too important to me to not keep trying.
For Holly I can be mature enough to work with that stupid idiot. I just won't call him that to his face.



"You're throwing your future away for a boy who isn't going to give a shit in six months. You want me to stop getting in your business, then you need to start making better choices."
"You're wrong," I say through falling tears. "He loves me."
"I'll bet he thinks he does," he says. "But you're going to school. Holly has worked too hard to keep you on track for your education for you to throw it away because you want some asshole's attention. As it is, you had to get your GED because you couldn’t get your ass to class."
"It's not like that," I wail. I don't even bother to wipe the tears away. Every word he says is meaner than the last. They slam into my gut and practically pierce my heart one after the other.
He needs to stop before his words split me in two. Maybe if he knew the reason I missed so many classes he would understand. Maybe then he wouldn't look so disgusted with me. No, then I'd have to deal with the entire club's disapproval.
"I was eighteen once," he says. "It's always like that. He wanted your pussy, and now that he's got it, he's going to leave you behind. He's Forsaken now, Chey. He won't be faithful." Dad's words have fallen to a whisper. His shoulders have dropped and the intensity of the moment has passed. He just looks pained.
Good. Misery loves company.
"I'm not going to leave him no matter what you say," I mutter through a series of hiccups.
"You don't get it. It's painful thinking about going away, and I won't do it to him or to me. I love him, sometimes so much it hurts. It feels like it's crushing me from the inside out."



My girl blushes before stumbling over her words as she asks, "Do you want kids?"
I stop breathing, stop moving-- even doing the pat-bounce-- and don't know what to say to that. Heard it from a couple of the brothers before. Don't ever mention marriage to a chick unless you're ready to have kids because that's all she can see in her future. Probably should have listened to that shit before opening my mouth.
"I want to be a mom," she says. Fuck. I still can't move and Robin's starting to scream again.
She's greedy with the pat-bounce, so I force myself to make my hand move. It barely calms her.
"Not now, but someday," she clarifies.
"Eh, why not," I say like it's no big deal. "I'll be a fucking pro at this shit by the time I'm thirty."
"Thirty is probably young enough to have kids," she says through a yawn. And I swear, my fucking heart starts beating again and I relax my arms around Robin. "Let me try again," she says and reaches for her. I hand her over, hoping Chey's better with her this time because that crying has got to fucking go. When she cradles Robin against her chest, she moves her around a bit before settling in and doing the pat-bounce. Robin is still crying but it's nothing like before.
"There you go," I say and smile at her.
"I can't believe my mom didn't stick around for this," she mumbles. She doesn't talk about her mom, but for some reason she is right now. I don't got shit to say because my mom didn't stick around either. It's not like I have anything encouraging to say. "Nic's probably going to remember every single thing about her daughter from her favorite color to her worst nightmare."
"Yeah, I give her shit, but Nic's like a fucking grizzly about the kid. She's a good mom."
"I'm glad Robin has that," she says and I agree.
"Me too," I say.

Ride .
purchase from amazon here

Death comes in Armani. Salvation comes in leather. Principessa to the Mancuso crime family, Alexandra knows a thing or two about living outside the bounds of the law. Suffocated by the future her father has laid out for her, she makes a choice she can't take back, changing the entire trajectory of her life. Thrust into the dark and dangerous world of the Forsaken Motorcycle Club for her own protection, Alex finds herself faced with the last thing she needs right now: the man of her dreams. He’s sex in leather, the devil incarnate, and one hell of a kisser. But he’s also off-limits. Ryan Stone can be her friend, but he’s forbidden to be her lover. Third-generation Forsaken, Ryan knows nothing other than life on two wheels, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He enjoys the many privileges that come with the patch, and the only laws he recognizes are the ones set-forth by his club. That is, until who he wants more than anything isn’t allowed on the back of his bike —or in his bed. Balancing his desire for her body, and need to keep her safe, Ryan tries to keep Alex at a distance. Finally having made a choice for herself, she’s done hearing the word “no” and will push boundaries even Ryan himself doesn’t dare cross. Love is never more tempting than when it’s forbidden.

Thrash .
purchase from amazon here

Loneliness suffocates the heart. Acceptance breaks down walls. As a Lost Girl to the Forsaken Motorcycle Club, Nicole Whelan knows how to party. She’s not cut-out for relationships and her life is way too complicated for anything more than casual encounters. But one night when she falls into Duke’s bed at the clubhouse, he sees something in her that he can’t let go of—no matter how many times she tries to run. Having been left to raise her teenage brother, Jeremy, she’s already got her hands full and isn’t looking for anymore complications. But Duke’s just watched his best friend fall for the only girl he couldn’t have, and then almost lose her so shortly after, shaking him to his core. Faced with his own loneliness, he’s more determined than ever to break down Nic’s walls and show her that he can be good for her; but he’s got a bad track record and she’s got a bad temper. Changing his ways isn’t easy when he’s not sure what he’s even changing for. The violence and turmoil are at an all-time high, and Forsaken is in a vulnerable place when a twist of fate breathes new life into the club. It’s a much-needed beacon of hope for the embattled biker family, even if everyone’s not exactly on board. With Duke and Nic’s relationship already on shaky ground, and something even more important at stake, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club will fight like hell to keep their family together and whole. Love is never more precious than when it’s new.

Rev .
purchase from amazon here

With the looming threat from the Mancuso Crime Family, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club is preparing for a war that could destroy them. Grady, the club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, knows that love makes you weak, and he has zero interest in adding to his liabilities– especially now. He’s already got his teenage daughter who keeps him on his toes and a beef within the club that could fracture his relationship with a fellow brother for good. For Holly Mercer, her life is finally getting on track and the last thing she wants is trouble from her hometown’s resident outlaws. Keeping her nose clean is easier said than done, when suddenly she finds herself embroiled in club business. Holly might like the idea of being with a real-life bad boy, but even being in the same room with tough-as-nails Grady flusters her. When Holly inadvertently finds herself on Mancuso’s radar, she has two choices: trust that Grady will protect her,
or continue to refuse the club’s help. Both roads are dangerous, but only one has the chance to damage her beyond repair. Love is never more dangerous than when it can destroy you.

 - - -

 { review } .

As part of the CRUSH blog tour, I was also given the opportunity to read the previous three books, RIDE, THRASH, and REV -- and it helped, but wasn't necessary.

Each book layers on top of the other -- which was completely neat to see different vantage points. It was interesting to see Alex walking out of the house, after Ryan treats her like a Lost Girl, in RIDE, but then again to see it in Duke's perspective in THRASH. Or reading about Holly and Mindy being abducted in REV, but then when they're brought home in CRUSH.

So while not necessary to read the other books, it was, in a word, fun to have that other background.

Now... my biggest gripe...

I'm not a SONS of ANARCHY fan
 -- but if you are, this series is totally for you. As it was, I was annoyed with the language and the rough sex (hey, now, I read BDSM stories and erotica and all that jazz, so reading about sex is not the issue). I don't understand the infidelity that happens so often in this book, so much so that it makes me question the relationships we're reading about.

But all of that aside...

If I were to rate each book (and at some point, if I have the time and the catch-up to do so, I would like to put up a review for RIDE, THRASH, and REV), RIDE would be a 4, THRASH a 4.5, and REV... hmm... probably a 4... only because I'm not a big Grady fan. But the story as a whole... I could be convinced it were a 4.5 read.

But then there's CRUSH -- the point of this particular blog tour.

I'm giving it a heavy 4.

It was interesting to see Cheyenne and Jeremy grow through the books -- from start to end, we're looking at about 1-2 years. You see Jeremy grow from a cocky teenager, to a... well... pain in the ass, cocky, motorcycle club douche. Sorry. There's that...

And Cheyenne? Well, you don't really get to see all of her growth, because I feel that most of her growth actually happens in the end chunk when she's gone away to school -- because in REV, she's a bitchy teenager, and in CRUSH, she's not as bitchy, but she's very immature, nonetheless.


They're very cute together. When he's standing up for her and watching over her, you get the sense that he cares about her. When it appears to him that she's not going to reciprocate the same feelings, of course he goes all man-whore on her -- he's a teenage boy.

JC very much stayed true to Jeremy and Chey's ages -- they acted very much like the high schoolers that they are in the book. And then when they're young adults at the end (and at the end of Grady's book as well)? You see that they've aged and matured -- as they should have.

Jeremy tries very hard to do right by Chey, and it takes a pretty bad scene for him to realize her going away to school is the right thing -- even though it kills him. And Chey, as much as she doesn't really want to, she goes and she becomes something that Grady is extremely proud of. I'll let you read the books to figure that out for yourselves, but Motorcycle Club Old Lady she is not (while Jeremy is working on that) -- I just mean that she's not some Lost Girl groupie turned into more. She actually has something to call hers and be proud of (and now, as I continue to stick my foot in my mouth... all of our heroines in this series are strong ladies who have made something of themselves in some fashion or another).

So. Bottom line...

While I wasn't too thrilled with this addition to the series, I'm actually rather invested in it and am hopeful to see more. I think Ian needs a book. He's so quiet and keeps to himself, but you can just feel everything that simmers beneath the surface.

And then there's Mindy. That girl has some major shit to work through.... And I would like to be privvy to it all ;)

 { giveaway } .

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