Title: Ride Hard
Series: Raven Riders #1
Author: Laura Kaye
Publication Date: April 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders . . .
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .
I am always a little wary whenever I read a book featuring a Motorcycle club due to preconceived notions exasperated by a previous book whereby the members were a bunch of cheating, misogynistic scumbags. I am overjoyed to say Raven Riders has altered my perception of MC’s immensely.
The Raven Riders are dedicated to providing a safe haven for people but especially women who have suffered through domestic abuse, ensuring their protection and rehabilitation from the damage that has been inflicted on them. A personal mission to a lot of the members of the Raven Riders and none more so than the president, Dare.
Dare has created his own home and family through the Raven Riders, honourable and good to his core, Dare is a fantastic character with more than a little white knight complex. Dare grew up knowing the seedy side of MC’s and is determined to never let that happen to the Raven Riders. The victim of an abusive father, Dare lost his older brother and his mother to a domestic incident, the scars of which he carries with him eternally. He has never envisioned his own happily ever after until he crosses paths with Haven.
Haven and her best friend Cora, are under the protection of the Raven Riders after being rescued from a hostage situation involving a notorious street gang. Haven has only recently escaped from her sadistic, controlling crime-boss of a father to end up with a bounty on her head, hence the hostage situation she has been rescued from. Understandably, Haven doesn’t trust easily and is of a nervous disposition. Introverted, shy and cautious are all words I would use to describe Haven at the beginning of Ride Hard. The only solace she has been able to find up to now has been in baking, at which she is incredibly talented. Under the Raven Riders shelter, Haven is able to find a level of safety she has never experienced before. I absolutely loved watching her blossom as her confidence developed as a result of the safe environment she had been granted.
The attraction between Dare and Haven is palpable from their first encounter, aside from the obvious barriers like their age difference, the situation they find themselves in is detrimental to a relationship. A fling however, is another matter 😉 Although, there is no escaping their intimate emotional connection and the feelings that quickly escalate into a yearning for something more and something permanent.
Fans of Laura’s Hard Ink series are going to love the crossover into the Raven Riders while new readers are going to be hooked on the characters that they can’t help but want to delve into that series alongside the Raven Riders.
The drama and tension within the plot are maintained throughout adding to the compulsive nature of the narrative as a whole. The ongoing power struggle with gang wars alongside the business ventures of the Raven Riders all added to the three-dimensional story aspects, something I think will have a reoccurring impact through the series.
I have to say this is one motorcycle club I would love to find myself a part of, the feeling of belonging and family emanated from the pages. I am sure it is something we all aspire to have in our lives.
The undercurrent of additional sub-plots surrounding the peripheral characters served to instill a desperate need to uncover their stories, Maverick and Alexa, Cora and Slider, I need to dig deeper into your secrets 😉