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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Not just another MC romance...

    This was an ARC given to me by the author in exchange for a timely and honest review. Before I started reading this one, I read the first in the Bent Zealots series and I'm glad I did because I knew more of the people and had background information I wouldn't have had otherwise. The two main characters are: Ormond, an openly gay biker who is known for doing 'favors' for men in uniforms and Anson who is a straight (as far as the world can see) ex-military, current private mercenery. Both men are living their lives based on false beliefs about themselves and neither one is truly happy. The element of this story that propelled it into 5 stars and beyond was the emotional growth experienced by both men and the maturation of the relationship that develops between them. As I delved in to my reading it didn't matter that I wasn't a non-Caucasian gay or bisexual man and therefore could not possibly understand what that reality was like in our culture. It didn't matter because Ormond and Anson yanked me into their hearts and souls and I had to hang on while external forces violently uprooted them from their stagnant comfort zones and whipped us along for the ride. Both men immediately feel something electric with the other the very first time they met, which results in a rather steamy scene before they even knew one another's names. The realization, very soon after that impulsive incident, that they were going to be working closely together on an important MC job made them both uncomfortable. Anson initially wanted to continue the purely sexual acts with Ormond, without feelings or any other kind of relationship between them . As long as no one found out that he was possibly gay then he felt safe at least, if not happy. A bright happy future with someone he loved and who loved him back wasn't something he ever considered being possible in his future. Ormond, it soon became clear, felt that his sexual skills were all that he had to offer anyone so he didn't mind being that lustful outlet for Anson. Even early in their growing friendship it was apparent that Anson was struggling with his feelings for Ormond. Ormond's sexual past wasn't a secret from anyone, so Anson knew of all the promiscuity. He discovered that he "wanted to whack him upside the head and tell him to get some self-respect...he didn't need to open wide for every chunky in order to feel desirable. That he was desirable without all that." To me, that was a huge turning point for Anson. He started from then on being more open with his affection and feelings with Ormond. He wanted to protect him and make him feel good about himself. Just as Anson had aided Ormond in the realization of his intrinsic worth as a beautiful, kind and truly lovable man, Ormond knew how to best help Anson be more comfortable with who he really was in his sexual orientation and slowly he became more content in just being himself all the time and not only when the two men were alone. Ormond allowed Anson to feel like he was the one in charge in their relationship at all times, always the manly and macho one, even if it was just an illusion at times. Anson may have grown more relaxed in himself and in being a 'them' together, but he was still an alpha male needing to exert his dominance and possession of all things, especially his Ormond. Over the course of the book there is plenty of action and danger and unexpected curveballs life throws at them which serve to bring the characters closer as best friends trusting one another literally with their very lives...but I'll let you read those events on your own. I don't want to ruin a single bit of this beautiful, viscerally moving love story.

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