By Sienna Valentine
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
He was blazingly handsome—big blue eyes in a boyish face, shaved head, a thick moustache and beard of dirty blond hair… biceps that were cut, stretching against the thin white cotton of the short-sleeved shirt underneath his vest…
From what I can tell, Ghost is one of the most ruthless members of the Black Dogs MC. He seems to take a certain pleasure in violence and mayhem, and he has a wit that is just as sharp as any of the blades he carries. He’s also about as arrogant and infuriating as any man I’ve ever met, and has women fawning all over him wherever he goes.
But for some reason, he seems to think that I’m his soulmate. He calls me his Valkyrie, and he shows up, unbidden, at the most inopportune times. Like when I’m trying to teach my class full of private school kids.
I told myself I’d never fall for someone like him again, but there’s just something that I find hard to resist… and it’s not just all the muscles, tattoos, and how everything that comes out of his mouth seems designed to amuse someone, even if it’s just himself.
Getting mixed up with him is crazy, and I should know better. Especially once trouble starts brewing all around us.
The thing is, even though Ghost is the most dangerous man I’ve ever met, I’ve never felt safer than when I’m in his arms…
So Ghost McBride is a hilarious character; he’s so very real. I never get tired of reading about him. He hides the pain he suffered as a youngster behind humor, but for an enforcer-type MC member, he’s also got a solid gold heart, as evidenced in this book especially by his relationship with veterans at the retirement home, worry about Tommy after the motorcycle accident during a gun run, and efforts to save a young boy from physical abuse at the hands of his father. What can I say? I liked Ghost in Sanctum and Retribution, and I like him here in his standalone, Vindication.
Bridget, his love interest, is a former Marine with a backbone made from steel. These two hit it off both in-between and outside the sheets, but I admit that I didn’t really like Bridget at the start. She seemed cold, even though she cares about her grandfather, she cares about her friends (even though she admits she never really got close to them) and she cares above and beyond for her students, especially Toby, who she suspects is being physically abused at the hands of his father. I never really sensed chemistry between Ghost and Bridget – I’d be more inclined to call it a combination of lustful physical attraction and genuine psychological attraction. She is a smart cookie and also appears smart enough to know that she should follow her heart and gut when it comes to Ghost.
The two subplots, the negligent accident and Toby’s abuse, built up concurrently and realistically. Crafting the story based on a teacher was clever and somewhat different and offered the opportunity to expose Ghost’s many sides. Vindication is another easy and satisfying read from Sienna Valentine, a master at writing about interesting characters with suspenseful, well-formulated plots that hold your attention from start to finish!
Are Tommy and Miranda up next? Tommy needs his own story after being introduced to him in Sanctum and following his exploits through Retribution and Vindication.
Anything that has to do with Ghost sizzles. He has a sort of charisma that keeps me on alert.
I’ve just really come to enjoy reading Sienna Valentine’s works. They just flow so well and her writing is so descriptive. In this book, I noted the exchange between Ghost and Jase (the secret Ghost is holding that he actually told Jase about his suspicions but Jase opted not to do anything about it) and Jase said he won’t forget this. It makes me wonder if at some point down the road this history will resurface (Ghost owes Jase, so to speak). Also Ghost thinking to turn a negative (the tribunal) into a positive (asking all the MC members to join in on rescuing Toby during the parking lot set-up) was a clever – and mature and do-good/professional – twist.
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on May 19, 2016.