From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first steamy standalone in her Raven Riders Series, RIDE HARD! A sexy romantic suspense, you might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series about a different kind of a motorcycle club with a protective mission stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! The Raven Riders Series takes you on a new adventure and kicks it into overdrive!
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…
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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I’m not a huge fan of MC romances. That kind of lifestyle isn’t a turn on for me. But I am a fan of Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series so when I heard she was doing a spin-off about the Raven Riders we meet during that series, I was definitely intrigued. I had to see how she would spin this. And color me impressed. The Ravens are a different breed of MC. Oh, they are still rough, skirting the edge of the law but they also protect the weak and vulnerable. It’s a completely different lifestyle then what I think of when I think of MC.
Haven is skittish, timid and shy. Her life up to this point has been pure and utter shit. There’s no way to sugar coat it. This girl has had it rough. And when she got the balls to run away, she landed in more hot water. Luckily, the Hard Ink guys rescued her and got her a safe place to stay with the Ravens. Dare knows what it’s like to have a shit life. He had it too until he was able to get to his grandfather. Now he does everything in his power to make sure that he and his brothers can make things better for others. He’s protective, honorable and downright sexy. The connection between these two is palpable. And while the sex was hot, there was a sweetness to their relationship as well.
There’s some great character development here. You really get to see Haven grow and there’s some growth in Dare as well. Plus both of them have elaborate backstories and have complex personalities with strengths, weaknesses and flaws. The secondary characters are just as amazing. You really get a sense that this is a brotherhood…a family. This book is low drama but high action. With all that was going on, the romance could have easily been lost in the shuffle but Kaye struck a good balance between romance and action. I was captivated and entertained throughout.
This was a fantastic book. Definitely a different take on an MC lifestyle, so if you’ve shied away from them in the past, don’t be afraid to pick this one up. If you’re a fan of them, there should still be enough action to keep your engines revving. These guys have all the hallmarks of some fabulous anti-heroes. I cannot wait to see where else Kaye takes us in this series. -Peace and Love, Buxom J
“So much better out here,” Haven said, the night air cool against the tingling warmth of her skin. Although she was pretty sure that not all of the heat burning through her insides was from the alcohol—her unusual flirtatiousness and closeness to Dare over the past half hour had made her desperate with a heat that had nothing to do with her drinking game.
She walked to the railing and leaned against it, chuckling a little at herself for needing the support it offered. She felt so damn free, and it was a heady, exhilarating thing.
“What’s funny?” Dare asked, settling a hip against the railing right beside her. Arms crossed, jaw ticking with tension, dark eyes blazing, he was staring at her like he wanted to reprimand her or devour her. Oddly, neither alarmed her the way she would’ve expected it to.
Haven shook her head, leaning it back and letting her gaze float over the night sky. Blurry points of light swam in the moonlit heavens. It was beautiful and peaceful despite the pounding bass beat of music thumping from inside the clubhouse. “Not funny, just good. Happy, you know? Being able to do something a little . . . scary, but knowing I’d be safe doing it.” When Dare’s gaze narrowed, she shrugged. “I don’t know.”
A long moment passed before Dare finally spoke. “You are safe here, Haven. Never doubt it.”
Peering up at him, she nodded, all kinds of words sitting on the tip of her tongue, challenging her to let them fly. “It’s weird feeling safe—or at least safer—after a lifetime of not. It makes me want to try things I could never let myself try before. It makes me . . .” She shook her head and dipped her chin.
Dare stepped closer, his thighs coming up against her hip. He lifted her chin and made her look at him. The contact combined with the command in the gesture lanced white-hot desire through her veins. “Makes you what?”
“Want to feel alive,” she whispered, her heart suddenly racing in her chest.
Dare’s jaw ticked again as his gaze swept over her face. She didn’t think she was imagining the raw emotion pouring off of him and wrapping around her, but she wasn’t sure if she was reading that emotion right or projecting her own desire onto him.
“Do you feel alive, Dare?” she asked, the alcohol flowing through her and the night spinning around her like she was walking through a dream.
“Jesus,” he bit out.
The rough desperation in his voice made her wet between her legs. “Just once,” she whispered, not sure what she was asking him for.
But he seemed to know. Because his hand was suddenly tangled in her hair and his mouth was suddenly on hers, claiming, probing, tasting.
Haven moaned and parted her lips, inviting him deeper.
Dare jerked back from her, his fingers rubbing roughly over his lips. “Fuck, I’m sorry.”
On instinct, Haven’s body pursued his, pinning his back to the railing. “Please don’t stop,” she said as her hands gripped his shoulders. She had the strongest urge to climb him, to wrap her legs around him, to grind against the hard bulge pressing electrically against her belly.
“Please,” she whispered, tilting her mouth toward his. “I liked it.”
Dare’s hand cupped the back of her head. “You’re killing me.”
“Dare,” she said, her body restless against his.
In a move that sent the world spinning, he flipped them around so that she was the one pinned against the railing. He pushed his legs between hers and leaned down over her, forcing her to arch her back, to yield, to open to him. “Tell me what you want from me. Say the words,” he said, his eyes absolutely on fire.
Her heart was a runaway train in her chest, frantic and picking up speed. The thought of giving voice to her desires was terrifying and thrilling and dizzying all at once.
“I want your mouth,” she said. The words sounded odder out loud than they had in her head, but they were more accurate than asking him to kiss her—because her mouth wasn’t the only place she wanted his.
“Jesus,” he rasped again, his mouth coming down on hers once more.
The whimper she released was part relief, part anticipation. It had been so long since she’d kissed someone that she felt a little uncertain, but Dare’s intensity barely allowed her the capacity to worry about it. He was like a dark storm bearing down on her, relentless, magnetic, all-consuming.
Rough callouses from his hands scratched against her cheeks as he guided her. Hard breaths spilled over her lips, and the wet slide of his tongue tasted like whiskey and desire and man. Her hands found the soft length of his hair, and her breasts pushed against the hard plane of his chest.
Then her lips were freed as his mouth slid over her skin—exploring her cheek, her jaw, her ear, her neck. He hiked her up to sit on the wide railing, the move surprising a gasp out of her, especially as he crowded the space between her legs, pushing himself closer, bringing his erection against the place between her legs craving friction, hardness, so much more of him. Maybe even all of him.
One strong arm wrapped around her back and held her steady, while the other hand stroked her hair, her face, her breast. The soft groans and breathy grunts spilling out of him were delicious and thrilling, and bolstered her confidence that she wasn’t the only one losing herself in this moment, in these touches. She almost couldn’t believe this was happening, and part of her was certain she must be dreaming. Because Haven Randall didn’t have beautiful things in her life. At least, never before.
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About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Raven Riders, and Blasphemy series. 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 and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.