Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Split (Sex & Mayhem #7)

Motorcycle club president's daughter. Virgin.
Outlaw biker. Loves a challenge.

Hunter knew he was in deep shit when a patch-over went sideways, ending up with his prez dead, and him and his cousin becoming live-in hostages at the Coffin Nails MC clubhouse. What he didn't know, though, was that the girl he fucked just a few days before was the Coffin Nails club president's daughter, set on having nothing to do with him after a creepy one-night-stand in an abandoned church.

Tough luck, because Hunter is not a quitter, even if getting involved with the prez's hot daughter could get him killed.

Astaroth is devastated after losing the two people closest to her. Unable to connect with her grieving father, she believes that a ritual described in her late mother's notes might hold the key to bringing back the balance in her family. During the ceremony, she needs to get pregnant by the demon she summons, but why does he have to appear in the form of a handsome, long-haired, asshole of a biker, who just doesn't know when to give up? She never intended to see him again, but there he is, a new member of her dad's club.

And worse of all, the other man who appeared that fateful night, Hunter's cousin, is also up for seconds.

Astaroth was supposed to die in nine months, but instead, she is only beginning to feel truly alive for the first time. But no matter what she feels for the man who crashed into her life so unexpectedly, if she ever wants her family to be whole again, she needs to finish what she started.

As my first occult novel, I thought I'd be mildly uncomfortable with any hate-affiliated, God/Angel-bashing and whatever stereotypical 'blasphemy' I could think of. And I laugh now because the only bashing came from the ex-Christian, and even he was just contemplating the existence. I don't want to make this a religious thing, so I'll only add that I loved how it briefly spoke of there being different types of Satanists, just like with Christianity, and how misjudged a lot of things can be taken when not open-minded.

This book wormed its way into my heart with all the right pressure points pushed inside. I fucking LOVED how it was written, sucking me in with their own snarky and crude way of speaking, thinking and interacting within their own little worlds. Astaroth- Asty -and Hunter were these strong characters with their own secrets of being wanted for more than what life gave them.

Asty's a demonolater (demons are gods) but the only crime she's done is acting on a ritual written by her late mother to sacrifice herself so her late brother could be brought back and make the Nail Coffins MC whole again. Hunter, lost to be found again, is an extremely cocky (rightfully so) biker with hard muscles in all the right (and low) places. His interest in Asty was entertaining and turned downright dirty in the most sweetest way.

The way they came together matched their situation; abnormal, surreal and unique.

Fuck, how do I even explain the feels I feel after reading this? It touched me so deep, and I think it's because Asty was an insecure girl who had to learn to be a self-efficient woman who could figure shit out all on her own. Her mum and brother died, and even though she had a half brother, Lucky, her dad still wasn't the same. That pain of being a disappointment and feeling like you can't do anything right for anyone was just heartbreaking, and probably more than one incident was relatable enough to automatically count me in on the die-hard-forever-fan list. She's smart-mouthed, kind and has walls up like nobody's business to fend off the judgmental assholes who take one look at her Gothic makeup or split tongue and pound the gavel.

Hunter certainly pounded his gavel...

She's everything he was warned about when he still lived with his I Love Jesus family, and despite the fucked up things she does, he still wants her. He still sees her, the person that makes her, her. And I think that really sold me on this romance, the brakes and reasons for continuing on. Some things made me laugh warily, like when he went to his family reunion with corpsepaint to hide his bruises from a fight. Talk about borderlines lol. I got why he did it, because he wants to show them that he still did what he wanted but was happy, and although I would've worried that mama woulda thrown a sharpened cross at my ass had I been him, I also can see that he did it to make a statement: you invite me, I come as I am, with who I love and who loves me for me. Take it or leave it.

I was a little sad that his parents kicked him out because he wouldn't accept Jesus into his heart. If they really loved him, they wouldn't treat him the way they did but love him regardless. Love and take care of him while he figures out his own philosophical shit about what's good for him or not. I guess they just didn't see that FB post going around about only loving people and leaving the changing to God.

The Nail Coffins are your usual biker club, tough guys who are either sleazy, celibate sexually meek cool or scary but all incredibly loyal. Priest, Asty's dad, is a great leader, a terrifying biker, and an overprotective father. One of the greater parts of this story is seeing how everyone has different shades of right and wrong. Priest, for example, is a great dad, but he doesn't exactly take after his namesake with the whole shagging someone else three months after the mum's died or nearly torturing Hunter for mild- *snorts* -misunderstandings. They were all with their own personal demons and misgivings and I loved them more for it.

Funny story. I read the synopsis and thought her dad was the one that died recently, so when I saw that he was alive, I freaked out. "I'm gonna love him and lose him? WTF?" So the entire time I was reading this, I was emotionally preparing myself to read about an accident... that never came. I tortured myself over nothing.

That's what my assuming ass gets.

So anyways, this book is amazing. It's dark because of the biker life and religious aspects and avoided topics that no one likes to talk about, but it never gave off that feeling. Instead I got a sweet romance between two souls. Were there problems relevant to their current situations? Sure lol. But it wasn't creepy or anything. I guess what I'm getting at is this story had the opportunity to be all dark, creepy, and shit; while indeed dark and creepy, it had nothing to do with Asty and Hunter's story, but rather the setting itself. The rest of the variables chose to emphasize on other things, things they admired in each other. Basically no one dared fuck with my romance hahaha. So yes, there were a lot of other things to look at and think about (to believe or not to believe; biker gang life; when it's okay to cut; when it's okay to sacrifice; poisoning goats are never okay; love), but this book mainly concentrated on the decisions of Astaroth and Hunter to love... or give in to fear.

I really recommend this to anyone who loves to venture into uncharted waters. The occult certainly was unexplored territory for me, but after reading this, it's one of the greatest things I could've discovered this year- er, the past two years lol. It's funny, it's adventurous and daring, it's fucking hot, but most of all, it's terribly sweet.

Last Thought:
Hunter really does know how to pound his gavel...

*I really need to stop...*

HaPpy ReAdiNg! =^-^=

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