Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ARC Review: Hell for Leather

Hell for Leather (Black Knights Inc. #6)

by Julie Ann Walker 


Only the most urgent crisis could force Delilah Fairchild to abandon her beloved biker bar and ask the surly Bryan "Mac" McMillan for help. Her uncle—the man who raised her—has vanished into thin air, and Mac is the only person with the right connections to help her find him. What the ex-FBI agent has against her is a mystery...but when the bullets start to fly, Mac is her only chance of finding her uncle alive.
Mac knows that beautiful women can't be trusted, but he has to put his natural wariness of Delilah aside in order to help her. With the clock ticking, Mac and Delilah find themselves holding on to each other in the wildest adventure of their lives.
Themes: bikers, mercenaries  
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating:
 The mysterious men of Black Knights Inc (BKI) are back in the story of Mac and sexy bar owner, Delilah, who has been a part of the BKI world for a few books now, though she only recently learned the truth of the sexy bikers that frequented her bar. This series is full of sexy, alpha, and dangerous men and the women that bring them to their knees with sass, strength and sweetness.  I’ve followed this series since the very beginning and am thrilled with each new addition to the series, but I of course have my favorite knights.  I enjoyed reading Mac and Delilah’s story, though I didn’t love it as much as some others in the series.  There were beautiful twists and turns, dangerous situations, and the ultimate love that develops between two people that seem so different but are ultimately more alike than either ever would have believed. If you haven’t read previous novels in the series you won’t be too lost with the plot and relationships in this story, but you won’t be able to appreciate the subtle references to previous stories or the intensity of the BKI men and their missions.  
This mission begins with Delilah enlisting the help of BKI to find her missing uncle, Theo.  Though he’s only been gone for a while, Delilah’s gut won’t allow her to let his disappearance be pushed to the side and her heart won’t allow her to lose another person she loves.  When she arrives at her bar to find Mac and his friends there she knows that fate is telling her to trust them and work with them to find him, but she has no idea just how deep his secrets go or how dangerous a situation she is going to find herself in. After a bit of research, the BKI team discovers that the truth of Theo’s disappearance is a deadly game that could cost him his life, as well as Delilah’s and perhaps even the lives of the knights if they’re not careful. As the danger surrounding them intensifies, so does the passion that Mac has been denying from the very beginning, but Delilah is determined not to let this sexy man slip through her fingers.  When Mac’s past threatens to keep them from having a future, Delilah’s strength and stubbornness is the only thing that can keep them from sabotaging their chance at happiness.
Delilah is the type of woman I want to be when I grow up. :) She is sexy, passionate, determined, smart, and adventurous. When tragedy struck at her bar, costing her the life of one of her oldest patrons and a good friend, she veered a bit off course, desiring more and more to get away from the bar. When she finds herself in need she turns to her friends at BKI to find her uncle and bring him back to her safely. She has desired Mac for a while now, but his repeated rejections make it harder and harder for her to keep putting herself in his path.  When the danger around her leaves her floundering, she naturally turns to Mac for comfort and to keep her mind off her troubles.  Giving in to that passion though is more dangerous than the killers after them, dangerous to both her heart and her mind. I loved seeing her corner Mac again and again and force him to deal with the attraction between them and when that attraction and heat ultimately turns to love there is no denying they are perfect together, even if Mac fights it 'til the very end.
Mac is a bit of an ass for the majority of this book and I wanted so many times to kick his ass and make him see the beauty of the woman right in front of him. Though the women in his past have made him wary, they have made him terrified of having a true meaningful relationship; I think he could have easily overcome those issues if he’d just used some of his inherent determination to get over it already.  Those hang-ups keep him from looking deeper into the true woman that Delilah is and seeing that she is not the same as the woman that hurt him in the past.  While he is definitely a great operator, as a man he is a jerk and one that is closed-minded and unwilling to embrace the life he could have.  I loved seeing him working and the times when he does open up and embrace the heat generated by their attraction, there is a sexy man underneath all that fear and arrogance that is obviously hurting and terrified of living happily ever after.  When Delilah confronts him and forces him to get over it already, he pulls her into his heart and you can tell that they will have a bright and loving future.
Hell for Leather is a great story of a woman’s determination to get her man and a man’s hurt preventing him from seeing the greatness right in front of him. Delilah is a sexy, sassy, smart and interesting character, a motorcycle riding, drink-slinging, and trouble-starting woman, but with a depth and sweetness that keeps her from crossing into bitch territory.  Mac is an alpha man, sexy as hell, and badass to the bone, but his determination to keep himself from repeating past mistakes keeps him from seeing the greatness that will be found in a relationship with a good and trustworthy woman. The passion between these two slightly broken characters is palpable and undeniable even when they are fighting it and each other.  While there is certainly danger all around them, the feelings they stir in one another are deep and the kind of love that develops between them is what all women are looking for in their lives, the kind of love that last lifetimes.  The only real issue I had with this story was Mac’s repeated denials of their mutual attraction and his continued rejections of Delilah’s love. I have a feeling I know whose book will be next and I am very much looking forward to reading it.  This is a sexy series, but only if you like bikers, sexy men, and dangerous operators—and really what woman would deny that!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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