A stoic man still weighed down by his military past finds himself drawn to a younger military man while addressing his unforgotten feelings for a woman with a big secret of her own that will change everything for this trio in their rocky road to HEA. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Savage Heat by K.L. Ramsey, along with my impressions of this emotionally intense ménage. In honor of this first installment in the Royal Bastards MC: Huntsville, AL series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a print copy of this book too!
As president of my MC, I’ve always had to hide a part of who I am. I was fine with that until he walked into my life. Now, I can’t shove that half of myself into the dark anymore. My club won’t understand and the woman I want definitely won’t get it, but what choice do I have? I want them both and I’m done with not taking what I want.
Yeah, I’m savage enough to screw the rules to get what I want and I want them.
Both of them—and I won’t settle for less.
You can’t control who you love but sometimes, it’s savage enough to make its own heat.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Savage felt about ready to turn back around and leave just as soon as he saw his ex sitting at the bar with her girlfriends. Apparently, one of them was about to get hitched and Dallas was there to help her celebrate. At least, that was what he had gathered from the group of rowdy women.
“Shit,” he grumbled and sat down next to Bowie. He looked down at the end of the bar to where Dallas mean-mugged him and had the nerve to laugh.
“I’d say ‘shit’ doesn’t even begin to cover it judging from the way that blonde is scowling at you, man. What did you do?” Bowie asked. That really was a loaded question. It was more like what he didn’t do that was the problem. She was the only woman that Savage dated more than just a few times. Hell, she was the only person he had any kind of relationship within his entire adult life. And, he fucked it completely up with her. He ghosted Dallas when he realized he wasn’t going to be able to commit to her. She’d never be enough for him and how did he admit something like that to her? It was easier to just walk away from her and hope that Dallas would just forget about him. Her angry scowl told him that hadn’t happened yet.
“We dated,” Savage admitted. “About a year ago.”
“Wow,” Bowie whistled under his breath. “So, whatever you did to that woman must have been big, if she hasn’t forgiven you in a year.”
“I didn’t ask for forgiveness,” Savage growled. “And, I’m not looking for it now.”
“Well, I didn’t have you pegged as the dating type,” Bowie said. Savage held up two fingers to the bartender, signaling that he wanted a couple beers. The bar really didn’t offer much in the way of choices and he was one of the regulars, on nights after he had a rough day at work and didn’t want to deal with his MC brothers asking him a million questions. At the Voodoo Lounge, he could just be himself and no one really bothered him.
The bartender brought them their beers and a bowl of pretzels that looked like they had been set out for a few weeks. “Hey, Savage,” the bartender said.
“Mike.” Savage nodded. “Start me a tab,” he ordered.
“Sure thing,” Mike agreed and nodded to Bowie.
“You new here?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Bowie said. “New to the area, really. I’m at Redstone Arsenal.” Mike grunted and Bowie smiled.
“Well, women around these parts seem to burst into flames around guys in uniform. Just watch yourself with the piranhas at the end of the bar. One of the chicks is getting married but they seem to be out for a good time. Just fair warning; unless you’re looking for something like that.” Mike looked between Bowie and Savage as if trying to access what was going on between the two of them and Savage growled.
“Thanks, Mike,” he barked, all but dismissing the guy. Bowie laughed again and he wondered what was so funny but he had a feeling he wouldn’t like Bowie’s answer. So, he didn’t bother asking.
“Are you always so grumbly?” Bowie accused.
“No,” Savage quickly defended, shooting him a look that probably told him he was lying. Bowie held up his hands as if in defense.
“Okay, man,” he said. “No need to bite my head off. If you want to go someplace else, we can. Hell, we can go back to my apartment. I have beer there.” Bowie shot him a wolfish grin, making Savage smile.
“I’m good here,” Savage lied. He could feel Dallas’ eyes boring into the back of his head and he wasn’t sure what the hell to do about her.
“Liar,” Bowie challenged. “That sexy blonde has you squirming in your seat. It’s hot, really—the thought of you with her. I just don’t want to cause any trouble. Does she know?”
“Know what?” Savage asked, playing dumb.
Bowie sighed. “Does she know that you date guys?” he whispered.
“No,” Savage breathed. He sucked down half his beer and shot a look across the bar to where Dallas was still giving him the stink-eye.
“You ghost her or something?” Bowie teased and Savaged winced. “Fuck, man,” Bowie spat. “You didn’t fucking ghost that hot woman sitting at the end of the bar?”
“I did and can you keep it down, man?” Savage said.
“I’m pretty sure she can’t hear me over this God awful honky-tonk music and the ruckus her girlfriends are making. Why did you do it?” Bowie asked.
“Because she would never be enough for me,” Savage admitted. It was the truest thing he had said to Bowie and he worried that made him sound like an ass. “We had been on a few dates and I really liked her, but then I realized that if I dated her—you know, just her—I’d be denying half of myself. You know what I mean?”
Bowie nodded like he understood exactly what Savage was talking about and he realized that he had just assumed the guy was gay.
“You like women too?” Savage asked.
“Yep,” Bowie admitted.” In fact, I haven’t been with many men. It was easier to deny that part of who I was while I was living so close to home. I didn’t start exploring that side of my sexuality until I was stationed here. I had been on a few dates with men, but not a lot. So, I do get what you’re talking about, man.”
Savage sat back in his barstool and waved the bartender back over. “We’ll take two more and buy the ladies at the end of the bar another round on me,” he said. Mike nodded and walked back down to where the loud group of women sat and when he announced that Savage wanted to buy them a round of drinks, they all squealed and cheered. Well, everyone except Dallas. She shot him a look that could stop most men dead in their tracks, but he wasn’t most men.
Dallas stood from her stool and started toward them and Bowie cursed. “Um, I’m pretty sure the shit is about to hit the fucking fan now, Savage,” he said. Savage had a bad feeling that Bowie was right.
He held his breath, second-guessing every decision he had made that day, right down to asking Bowie out and buying Dallas’ friends a round of drinks. Yep, he was thoroughly fucked and all he wanted to do was get the hell out of there. Savage stood and threw down a hundred dollar bill, knowing that would cover his tab, and smiled at Bowie.
“That offer to get a beer at your place still stand?” Savage asked.
Bowie smiled and nodded. “Sure,” he said. “But, for the record, you’re being a chicken.” He looked across the bar to where Dallas was making her way across the crowded dance floor and sighed. Bowie was right but he didn’t give a fuck. Better to leave as a chicken then face his ex’s wrath.
“Yep,” he breathed. “Ready?” He held out his hand for Bowie, knowing he might be sending not only Dallas but everyone who was currently watching the exchange between them, a clear sign that the two of them were together.
Bowie took his hand and they made their way to the front of the bar. Just as Savage stepped out of the doorway and into the night, he looked back to find Dallas watching him; frozen to her spot with her mouth gaping wide open. Yeah, she had gotten the message, loud and clear—he was leaving the bar with Bowie and there would be no backtracking now. There would be nothing he could do to erase the hatred and pain that he saw in her beautiful eyes.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As a fan of MC-themed romances I found much to enjoy about this story, much that was familiar, but with enough twists and turns to keep me riveted to the page. Not having read the other Royal Bastards books I worried I might feel at a loss, but this release set itself apart nicely while still adding to the Club’s overall storyline. With each turn of the page, with each second chance, these three characters find themselves working through their pasts to make a future in a sensual and suspenseful journey to HEA.
Savage is someone who’s lived a tough life, both emotionally and physically, and it’s left an indelible mark on him. He’s not the kind of hero to show his feelings to the world, he’s a bit stoic with a heart that he guards tightly. One of the few times readers see him happy is in his dealings with Chloe, his niece who he adopted when she was a baby. With her he can open up, as there’s lots more about himself that he keeps hidden...even from his Club who he refers to as family. When it comes to them he’s keeping the biggest secret of all...his being bisexual. He thinks his being bisexual means that he’ll forever be alone, but the moment he meets Bowie is the moment he begins to be proven wrong. Bowie comes from a loving family, enlisted in the military because he’s a truly good guy, but is also keeping the same secret as Savage. It’s their mutual secret that connects them early on, along with a sizzling attraction, and from their first night together they both end up doing things they never thought they would...like have more than one night together. Savage might see years of aloneness ahead, but he surprisingly invites Bowie into his life instead. That’s not the only unexpected thing Savage does that night though as he reunites with an old girlfriend too. Dallas has been on his mind ever since he walked away without a word a year ago, the attraction still simmering and having him wanting to make amends. The moment he knocks at her door though is the moment everything changes for this trio. Dallas is a headstrong woman still angry for Savage’s ghosting of her, hurt that he never really let her know him, but ready to share a big secret of her own that will bind these three characters together. It’s not an easy journey for them as a few twists and turns arrive to test their burgeoning relationship, a threat to the Club has Savage going MIA, along with the families of Bowie and Dallas sharing their input into this unconventional new family. Through it all Ms. Ramsey provides lots of steam, with a little bit of heart and soul, and it will leave readers satisfied while waiting for the next installment.
The interactions between Savage, Bowie, and Dallas were well-depicted so that each felt like a part of a puzzle that’s now become a family. There was moments of sweetness as well as steaminess that pulled me into their unconventional coupling and which had me rooting for them. Overall, there was a good flow to the story with only a bit of drag surrounding Savage’s absence in dealing with danger to the Club. It felt a bit clunky for Bowie and Dallas to suddenly be thrown together but somehow they managed to connect. As characters I liked them all, particularly Bowie for his self-deprecating nature, but sometimes found myself frustrated by Savage and his stoicism. So much heartache could’ve been averted if he’d been more talkative, put faith in those he called family, instead of letting doubts rule him. Despite Savage’s lack of communication I was still drawn to him, drawn to his sexy and strong self, and was happy he found a family who accepted him wholeheartedly...a family of his own making who I hope to see more of in future installments.
My rating for this is a B.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
K. L. RAMSEY currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, go to WVU football games and attend book club (aka-drink wine) with girlfriends.
K. L. enjoys writing Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, and Sexy Ménage! She loves to write strong, capable women and bossy, hot as hell alphas, who fall ass over tea kettle for them. And of course, her stories always have a happy ending.
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