Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ride Hard (Raven Riders MC #1) by Laura Kaye: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway


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…

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Review by Yvette:

MC romance novels are not my usual cup of tea. Something about the bikers referring to their women as the “b” word and the violence, gratuitous sex, etc. has always been off-putting to me. Having said that, I adore Laura Kaye and will read anything she writes. What I enjoyed most about Ride Hard, the first book in her new Raven Riders series is that it’s not your typical MC series (and I meant that in the best possible way). The men of the Raven Riders are strong and loyal, with a mission to protect those who can’t protect themselves. What’s not to love about this concept? Add in a smoking hot romance and a dash of suspense and Ride Hard is a steamy, suspense-filled start to the Raven Riders series.

One of the things I most look forward to when meeting new characters by Laura Kaye is discovering that there’s more to these individuals than meets the eye. Our heroine, Haven Randall, for example, appears to be painfully shy and skittish, grateful for the asylum provided by the Raven Riders but ultimately wary of their ulterior motives. What’s not as apparent at first glance is the inherent strength of her character – strength that’s been a necessary ally while growing up the daughter of a crime boss. Haven is a character that I grew to appreciate the more I got to know her because, over the course of the narrative, we get to see the extent of her transformation.

Ride Hard is a love story about conquering fears, taking chances, and living life to the fullest, and it wouldn’t have been as successful without the complimentary relationship between Haven and our protagonist, Dare Kenyon. As president of the Raven Riders MC, Dare is Haven's knight in shining armor, substituting a leather jacket for a cut, and a motorcycle for a noble steed. He’s a genuinely good guy with a rough past, who, despite his reservations, connects with Haven on a deeper level. It's heartbreakingly beautiful watching Dare, a tattooed, intimidating biker, handle Haven’s emotions with care, but at the same time, the two have an explosive chemistry and a no-holds-barred type of passion that’s the catalyst for their intense connection. I initially assumed this would be a slow-burning romance, given Haven's reserve and inexperience, but it's like a switch is flipped when she’s around Dare, turning her into a sensual, playful version of herself that embraces each new experience with a refreshing eagerness.

With a blush-inducing romance, pulse-pounding suspense, and characters whose backstories will tug on your heartstrings, Ride Hard is an attention-grabbing read. It’s the perfect start to the Hard Ink series, giving readers a glimpse of what we can expect and leaving us impatient for more.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

About the Author:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in paranormal and contemporary romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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A note from Laura Kaye

I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my 25th novel, Ride Hard, the first book in my Raven Riders Motorcycle Club series about a new kind of MC with a protective mission. You might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! I can’t wait for you to get to know Dare, Haven, and everyone in the Raven world! And see down below for a giveaway and a bonus story offer! I hope you enjoy this excerpt from the book!

Excerpt from Ride Hard:

One minute Dare was standing on the beach, trying to keep himself from giving in to Haven’s innocent playfulness. The next he was wet from forehead to knees from Haven splashing him.

She actually splashed him.

His reaction was pure instinct. He took off like a shot, bolting toward her like a wild animal after its prey. Haven’s beautiful face went from uncertain to startled to amused, and on a scream and a laugh she turned and ran, her feet kicking up water as she cut through the shallows at the secluded lake’s edge.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she yelled between laughs.

Dare just ran faster, not even caring as his boots hit the water. She didn’t have a chance in hell of outrunning him, and he wasn’t giving up the chase until he had her in his arms—and made her pay.

A burst of laughter exploded out of her as she veered back and forth, pleading words spilling haltingly from her lips. And then Dare clasped his arms around her upper body, hauled her in against him, and took them both down to the sand right at the water’s edge. He turned his body so that he took the brunt of the fall, bringing Haven down on top of him. The chase and the challenge and the closeness had him rock hard in an instant. Not surprising, since he’d been sporting a semi since she’d straddled his bike, spread her legs around him, and taken him into her arms.

“You splashed me,” he said, eyebrow arched, hand fisted around the long braid in her hair.

Wearing a grin so open and carefree that it made his chest feel suddenly too small for his heart, Haven nodded. “Oops.”

“You think that’s funny?” he asking, growing harder as she shifted her weight, making her belly grind against his hard-on.

A small gasp of recognition, and she bit down on her lip as the cast of her eyes went from playful to aroused. “A little,” she said in a breathy voice. She licked her lips. Dare couldn’t help but track the movement, and want to suck the trail of moisture she left there off the plump, pink skin.

What the fuck was he doing?

Haven’s hands gripped his shoulders, and she subtly shifted her weight again, pulling herself up his body—just a little, but enough that her lower belly now pressed and thrust against his cock. And Jesus if the need blazing out of those bright blue eyes wasn’t crystal clear.

For a split second, Dare thought of Haven’s list of things she’d never experienced, her lie of omission, the expression she’d worn on her face when he’d made her come before. And what he wanted to do ran roughshod over what he should do.

Startling a high-pitched gasp from her, Dare flipped their positions so that she lay in the soft sand and his body lay partially over hers. With his forehead against hers, he nailed her with a stare. “You sure you want to provoke me?”

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