Saturday, January 10, 2015

Early Book Review for Rough Justice by Sarah Castille

From bestselling author Sarah Castille comes a scorching new series featuring red-hot, hard-riding bikers and the women who can’t help but love them…

Raised in a motorcycle gang, tough, beautiful Arianne Hunter has always dreamed of a normal life. But no sooner does she escape her father’s domineering grasp than she wakes up to find herself in a rival gang’s clubhouse—at the mercy of the dangerously sexy Jagger Knight.
The alpha leader of the notorious Sinner’s Tribe, Jagger Knight is all muscle, all biker, and all man. But somewhere inside this hard tattooed outlaw, Arianne senses a kindred spirit—and she can’t ignore their tempestuous attraction. Can she beat him at his own game in a revved-up blaze of glory? Or will their passion spark a war that’s the end of the road for them both?


As a fan of the TV show Sons of Anarchy I've been drawn to the prolific new genre of MC-themed stories.  While some are successful in capturing the intensity and danger of this gritty world while remaining romantic and believable, some do not.  Luckily for me, Rough Justice kept me enthralled from start to finish with its vividly depicted world of greys and the complicated and conflicted men dwelling in it along with the women just trying to find a place amongst those who place little value on them.  Some might see this world as misogynistic, but I see that term as what sets the good guys (as good as they can be in a world surrounded by guns and drugs) apart from the bad guys.

In this first installment in the Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club series we learn through the heading of each chapter and through the interactions between Jagger and Arianne how the club comports itself.  Their beliefs, rules, and behaviors are clear cut with violators severely punished.  The Club Leader is King and a fine line must be walked for those who question him.  Being the Leader is a lonely job, a job with very little happiness when those you care about are seen as pawns in a brutal war for supremacy.  Since the murder of his previous love Jagger has kept himself from forming a connection with any other woman.  The moment he sees the strong-willed spitfire Arianne riding through the fiery remains of their clubhouse though he can't keep thoughts of her at bay and must do some clever manipulating to keep her close while saving face with his Brothers.  Though he tries to keep his heart from getting involved as there's a traitor in their midst, with her being the number one suspect, he can't keep away from her which leads to a gritty Romeo and Juliet vibe.  Jagger is an intense man who lives in a world full of greys where guns and drugs are commonplace.  He's a loyal man with a code of honor that's admirable and reflects the good man he is down deep.  He surrounds himself with equally good men, many from his military past, who he demands the best from as their truce with a rival Club comes crashing down.  Beneath his tough and gruff exterior is a man with a heart of gold who always helps a damsel in distress.  He has fears of his own from the war that he tries to keep hidden but when he's with Arianne he can finally be himself.  I loved Jagger the moment he swaggered on the scene and am still thinking of him now.

Arianne/Vexy wants out of Conundrum and the biker lifestyle.  She's tired of constantly being in fear, of having to do things she knows are wrong, and especially tired of being the property of her father and his Club.  She's also desperate to get her brother off drugs and out of the Club as he's willing to do anything to gain their father's approval.  It's not so easy to wash away a lifetime of being a badass though as she was taught from birth the ways of the MC and is now a better pool player and marksman than most men.  Her plan to run away is jeopardized when while trying to rescue her brother from burning Jagger's clubhouse down she's injured and falls into the angry yet sexy Jagger's hands.  He's everything she wants to leave behind but also offers her a sense of safety and happiness she thought she'd never find in Conundrum.  Though she's the daughter of his Club's bloodthirsty rival he proves that not all MCs treat their women like chattel and that he's willing to listen to her thoughts and give her as much freedom as possible.  No matter what though he's sworn to protect her by doing whatever he deems necessary to keep her safe from the wrath of her Club and a dangerous battle for control from within his.  It will take a lot to get her to trust the feelings Jagger engenders in her.  As she tries to walk a fine line in protecting her brother she'll be putting herself in jeopardy as well as the burgeoning relationship between her and Jagger that has made her feel more powerful than she's ever felt before.  Only with Jagger by her side will she finally have the kind of life she's fought for but with guns pointing at her from every direction it might be too late.

This is a scorchingly erotic tale of two strong-willed people from bitter rival MCs who make a connection despite everything.  Their encounters crackle from their unforgettable first meeting throughout their emotionally intense and rocky relationship.  Their sexual encounters were numerous but the intensity fit in with a storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Jagger's clearly dominant but shows a tender and permissive side with her that endears him to me.  Arianne likes to embrace her girly side as Jagger's reactions are intoxicating but she's far more comfortable fixing an engine and arguing with the guys.  Together they're a perfect match as he knows she can take care of herself but also that she'll let him take charge in a fight.  They both have painful incidents in their pasts that they've kept hidden but together they've found someone to confide in and it forged a bond amidst all the secrets and lies surrounding them.  Along with scorching sex comes numerous moments of bloodshed as Jagger's determined to make the man pay who killed his Brother at the start of the story.  He also wants revenge for all the pains Arianne has suffered and to bring an end to her father's Club once and for all.  The journey to reach his goal is riddled with bullets and blood and will leave Arianne bruised inside and out as she sees Jagger in a role that makes her forget his softer side.  It's a chaotic ride for readers full of twists and turns as allegiances flip and the underbelly of Conundrum is exposed further.  It's a gritty town and life and it pulled me in completely.  Amidst all the danger and blatant sexuality was some rare moments of humor courtesy of the brotherly interactions amongst the Club members which were playful and brought a smile and a blush to my face with all the ribald talk.  Each brother was unique with secrets and kinks just hinted at that I look forward to learning more about.  Cade is the playboy who has women falling at his feet but surprisingly fell for Arianne's friend and is being led on a merry chase that we'll see more of in the next installment.  Zane is Jagger's best friend and can tell him things that others can't.  He's intense with nary a smile on his face as his heart's been hardened by an old love and it's left him bitter.  I find him intriguing though and am impatiently waiting for his story to be told.  There's plenty more Brothers to give this series a long life and I hope it's around for a long time.  Readers looking for a vividly depicted world full of grittiness and steaminess will gobble up these sexy bad boys and the strong-willed women more than capable of standing beside them.  Ms. Castille has crafted a compelling series and roared out of the gate with this series starter that I highly recommend to others!

My rating for this is an A.

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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