Vicious Cycle is the first book in what will become a series about the Hell’s Raiders MC. This is my first book by Katie Ashley and I'm in. This book was like a sweet fragrance to readers like me. It had bikers, romance, plot twist and good sex. That’s like warm vanilla pumpkin spice on a fall day to me.
Vicious Cycle is Alexandra and Deacon's story. Deacon is a biker who before finding out he had a daughter was an emotional recluse. Alex is a kindergarten teacher and…ok, wait. Now that I think about it, we don’t really get all that much background information on WHO Alex is. We get information about events that occurred in her background with her family but now that I’m trying to write about Alex I realize that there isn’t a lot to identify her as a person before her relationship with Deacon. I’m not really knocking the author for that because it didn’t take anything away from the story or my reading experience. I didn’t even realize it until just now.
I like the background set up for this story. It is emotionally wrenching in places as we find out about Willow’s pre-Deacon life but it is well done. It can’t be easy to write from a 5 year olds POV in an erotic MC romance novel but the author does it with ease and no awkwardness. Even though I know some readers might think Deacon was a A-Hole when he met Willow for the first time, I thought the telling of their interaction was completely credible given Deacon’s history. It would have seemed contrived if he had leapt into fatherhood with no problems. I felt for Deacon as he struggled with feeling like he wasn’t good enough to be a father.
I also enjoyed the action of the book. The plot was constantly moving forward and I had no problem turning the pages or paying attention. The plot is layered with information about the background of Deacon and his brothers and Alex’s parents. Of course when Alex and Deacon finally hook up, the sex scenes were good. They weren’t the best I’ve read but they were definitely better than average.
What I didn’t like that also affected my rating was Alex's behavior after getting with Deacon. Ok there are like two versions of Alex in this book. The pre-Deacon Alex was strong, assertive and confident. She was able to help Deacon become a better person and a better parent before she ever started a romantic relationship with him. The post-Deacon Alex was just terribly insecure. If Deacon did anything she didn’t like, she was threatening to huff and puff and blow the relationship down. I especially did not like a particular scene in the strip club. First, Alex’s reaction to the strip club was just soo over the top. Second, her plan to get back at him or whatever that was came off as just being so ridiculous. The more the relationship with Deacon progressed the more brain cells Alex seemed to lose. When Alex actually ASKED Deacon about marriage before he was contemplating it, I was just about done with her.
The other thing I didn’t love was the plan that Alex hatches in the end of the book. I'm sort of ambivalent about what she did. On the one hand, it was brave and I like that in heroines but it was also stupid which is not something that I like.
So all in all I thought this was a well written, fast paced MC romance with some good sex scenes. And although I generally really liked the characters in this book, Alex found my one bad nerve and stepped all over it. I still recommend this book, particularly for you MC romance fans and I will read more books by this author.
**ARC provided by Publisher**