By Leslie Wilder
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
As the club Enforcer, Stitch is the man chosen to protect the club. There are no limits to his brutality, no lines drawn in the sand. The club is his life, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his brothers safe.
He’s a man who keeps to himself, guarding the walls that he secured so long ago. Then, one moment, one chance meeting, changes everything.
Life for Wren and her son, Wyatt, isn’t exactly easy. Yet, Wren faces each day with determination and courage. Wyatt is her joy and motivation; for him, she will find a way to make their lives better, even when obstacles are continually thrown in her path. The last thing she needs is another complication, but what is life without complications?
Stitch appears when they need him the most, protecting them when no one else can. Wren can’t understand it. She should feel threatened by his bulging muscles and menacing tattoos, but she’s somehow able to see past the mysterious biker to the man inside. She is drawn to him for reasons she can’t even begin to comprehend. All she knows is that her body craves his touch.
Can Stitch let his guard down and allow these two strangers into his heart? Can Wren see beyond the scars of her past long enough to let him in, or will her fear drive him away?
The prologue launches the story in a rather gruesome way, but frames how Stitch evolved and lets the reader easily ascertain his instant attraction to helping Wyatt when he finds him in the diner parking lot. The relationship/friendship between Wyatt and Stitch is endearing. Wren is a strong and loving woman. Wilder has developed her into a relatable and believable character, and definitely likeable, from feeling her anxiety about sending Wyatt for weekly visitations with her ex-husband to going to the club to find and talk with Griffin. She and Stitch make a realistic couple and their chemistry and attraction builds and evolves naturally. When they finally consummate their relationship, it is easy to believe it’s far more than sexual. Stitch is a hot guy: sexy as he**, protective and loyal, loving to those he cares about, and a tough-as-nails bada**. The scenes flowed and the story was solid, especially the ones when Stitch dealt with Wren’s ex-husband Michael, Wren escaped from the car trunk with a focus on getting to her son, and the one-on-one scenes between Stitch and Wren, especially as they started to get to know one another. I was really glad that there wasn’t any real “woe is me and I can’t be with him/her because I’m no good for them” dramas – there was storyline-specific action instead. It’s a fast read and, for the most part, easy to follow (with the exception of Wren being locked in the trunk – I thought she was locked in Michael’s trunk originally until he finally was forced to admit that the other club had kidnapped her).
The “huh?” part?
I was surprised that not once did Wren mention to Stitch that Wyatt had Asperger’s.
The romance and love story itself was brilliantly written. Wilder did an exceptional job seamlessly weaving so many emotions throughout the book, all in the right place at the right time. The epilogue was rewarding: it’s not difficult to believe that even though Stitch is the club “enforcer” and has done his share of killing, he has what it takes to be a real family man.
“You never have to restrain yourself with me.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“I do. I trust you.”
“It’s not that easy, Wren. Never been a gentle man. Never known…gentle.”
I placed the palm of my hand against his chest and said, “Beneath that hard exterior lies a man with a good heart, one that fights for what is right and true. There is gentle in you, Griffin. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it.”
“I’ve spent all these weeks watching you, seeing that you are everything I’m not. Good. Decent. Loving. I’m none of those things and I will tarnish you with my touch. I’ve tried to fight it. Tried to protect you from me, from the darkness inside of me, but your pull is too strong, Wren. I want you too damn much.”
“You need to know that you’re it for me, Wren. I’m claiming you as mine.”
“Yes. I want everyone to know you are mine,” I explained.
Her hands slipped around my neck as she smiled and said, “So, you want me to be your old lady?”
“For now. But when things settle down with the club, I’m going to put a ring on your finger, make you mine in every way.”
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on April 15, 2016.