Thursday, October 9, 2014

SUNNY - ARC REVIEW: "Riding Dirty" by Jill Sorenson

Riding Dirty
by Jill Sorenson
Book 1 Dirty Eleven MC

He's her weapon of choice...

Psychologist Mia Richards wants revenge. Her new client, tattooed Cole "Shank" Shepherd, provides the perfect means. She just has to manipulate the felon-turned-informant into eliminating her husband's killers—members of Cole's rival motorcycle club. The first step, seducing Cole, is simple. As for walking away before she falls hard—it's already too late.

Dirty Eleven practically raised Cole, and he plans to double-cross the cops rather than sell them out. But smart, sexy Mia is an irresistible distraction. While she's evaluating his mind, all he can think about is her body until he discovers her true intentions. Walking a fine line between desire and betrayal, they'll have to outrun her past, his enemies and the law for a love that's dangerously real.

Wow, what a thrilling ride! I’ve been a fan of Jill Sorenson since her Aftershock series.  Her books are tightly written, fast-paced, and highly dramatic.  Riding Dirty does not disappoint.

I was originally intrigued by the premise of this story.  Psychologist Mia Richards is working with a recently released inmate, Cole Shepherd. He’s negotiated an early release by agreeing be an informant against his uncle, the leader of a motorcycle club. Mia has an ulterior motive for working with this client – she wants to manipulate him into assassinating the man who murdered her husband, the leader of the rival motorcycle club.  To what extent will Mia go to accomplish her goal? Will Cole discover her duplicity? Sounds good, right?

Cole is downright brash. He’s smart but lacks self-control.  Going to prison this time and the murder of a loved one makes him question his life’s trajectory.  Combine that with the tools that Mia gives him in his therapy sessions and he’s making progress.

Mia has been consumed by revenge. She’s lost everything, including herself.  She cannot let go of her past and therefore, is not living at all today. Through her interactions with Cole, her façade begins to crack. Her journey to self-discovery parallels her newly renewed sexuality. And yes, those scenes are pretty darn steamy.
In the Aftershock series, Jill Sorenson uses physical boundaries to contain her stories and amp up the tension.  In a similar manner, she brings that same sense of containment in this book, but this time through the tightly bound world of the one-percenters.  If 99% of motorcycle clubs are not into criminal activity, the 1%-ers are outlaws. Cole lives on the edge.  He was in the outlaw world and his loved ones are all apart of that lifestyle. He feels the pending betrayal deeply.

Jill Sorenson is from Southern California and she brings that flavor into her writing.  Being from same region, comments like: “It stuck her as starkly beautiful in a way that only the desert was. Beautiful like snakeskin” and “He tasked like soda and cilantro, spicy and hot” deeply resonate with me. The region becomes like a character in the book.  If you’ve been to the Coachella Valley, you will understand how places like Indio are very distinctive.  It truly stands out to me as “the mixture of industrialism and nature. . . Lush golf courses were set against barren wastelands.  Rich mingled with poor.” My first time in Indio (I was vacationing in Palm Springs and ventured into Indio in search of a date shake), I too was struck by that dichotomy. 

Jill Sorenson brings us a dark, erotic, edgy romance steeped in Southern California outlaw culture.  Full of drama, this story is a page turner. 

Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels, including the Aftershock series by HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, twitter and reality TV. Jogging keeps her sane.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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