Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Beautiful Outlaw (Savage Outlaw MC #1) by Emily Minton

After ten years of surviving as a walking, talking, living doll, Laura feels dead inside. 

She has sacrificed everything for her family, marrying a man she could never love. Her husband doesn’t beat her, doesn’t berate her. He transforms her, forcing her to live as a stand-in for his long dead wife. She stays silent as piece after piece of herself disappears, willing to do anything to protect the people she loves.

When his demands go too far, she finally tells her brother the ugly truth.

Wanting to protect her without putting the rest of their family at risk, he sends her to the one place he knows she’ll be safe. He places her into the hands of his best friend, Vice President of the Savage Outlaws MC.

Once again, she is transformed into someone new; Shay.

Bowie has spent many nights dreaming about his best friend’s little sister. The reality is so much sweeter than his dreams. He wants to be more for Shay, needs to protect her, but he’s not sure if he knows how.

Can an Outlaw show her how beautiful life should be?
~My Review~

I knew just about nothing about this book when I decided to read it.  I found it because I "like" Emily Minton on Facebook.  Since I read the Renegade MC books, I've been following her, and when I started seeing her posts about this book, I decided to read the Synopsis and buy the book.  I was honestly a little confused (Laura / Shay?), but once I started reading, I totally understood what was going on.  Buying and reading this book was totally worth it.  I loved just about every single minute of it!

I've recently really gotten into these MC books, and this one seriously didn't disappoint.  I felt like both characters were really well developed.  We learned about why Laura/Shay needed protection right away.  Sometimes, there is a level of suspense where we don't know what the main character is running from for a while - not here!  We learn right up front, and I really like that.  At the same time, we immediately get a good understanding of who Bowie is.  Not only is he Laura's brother's buddy from the Army days, but he's a member of the Savage Outlaw MC club, and he has some family issues of his own.

The other characters involved in the story, Laura's brother (Jeremy, aka Lock) and her parents, Bowie's brother (Tin-Man), sister (Rachel), mother (Nina), father (Cash), their new friend Tag, as well as everyone else who plays support roles in the book are awesome.  I love how we get just enough information about them all so that they fit into the story perfectly, but they're not just there to take up space.  They all really help to build up the story and make it complete.

The story was great.  I was hooked from the very beginning.  Laura has been living a miserable existence for the past 10 years with a whack job of a husband.  She married him in order to help the rest of her family, and while they don't know that, they think that she has just been pulling away from them.  When she finally decides that she's had enough, everyone comes together to help her.  Everything about how this happens, and how her life changes really flows well.  They story is told from both Laura/Shay's point of view and Bowie's point of view, so we're not left thinking what Bowie might be thinking.  I really love it when the authors decide to give us both perspectives.  It really gives the reading that much more depth.  I felt like I really understood what Laura was going through when she was all of a sudden forced to become Shay, a new person, but at the same time try to rediscover who she used to be.  In finding herself, she finds others who she can count on to help her, and it really made for a wonderful story.

There is obviously a lot of conflict in the story.  There is the conflict with Laura fleeing from her crazy husband, and all the aftermath of that, and then there are Bowie's own conflicts.  I really enjoyed how the conflict was resolved.  I didn't feel like anything was thrown out of left field.  Nor did I feel like the conflict was resolved too quickly.  Finding out how everything happened led to a pretty sweet twist at the end, and at one point I thought that we would actually never find out what brought everything together, but everything was explained, everything was resolved - and it totally made sense.

The book kind of ends on a cliffhanger.  Actually, a huge cliff hanger.  So the main story ended with a wondering HEA, and I found myself smiling at the end.  Of course, I would love to read more, but where it ended was a logical end to the story.  Then comes the epilogue.  It is set 6 months later, and is set in Bowie's POV.  It gives us an overview of everyone and how they're all doing, and a bit of a surprise with Tin Man.  OK, a big surprise.  It doesn't go into any kind of depth, but totally sets up a story for his own book.  Then comes a second "bonus" epilogue.  This one is in Shay's POV and is set 5 years later.  We get another overview of where everyone is in life, and then a HUGE curve ball is thrown in at the end and I was like....WHAT?????  Oh my goodness.  It was awesome.  I can only hope that the next book to come, Tin Man's story (which comes out in February 2015) not only clears up the surprise at the end of the first epilogue - it has to!!! - but also explains the end of that second epilogue.  Because man, do I want to understand what's going on!

I would totally recommend this story.  I absolutely loved it and I am so happy that I decided to read it.  When I saw Emily Minton's name as the author, I remembered how much I loved the Renegade MC series, and I wasn't disappointed with this new series.  Five well earned stars!!!

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