Read my reviews of previous books in the Rebel Kings MC series:
When the VP of the Rebel Kings MC started more actively pursuing a potential relationship with the sister of the President earlier in this series, I figured one of two things would happen. Either Nash and Orla would quietly get their happily ever after relatively off-screen since this is a primarily queer romance series, or everything about it would explode and Nash would turn into a villain. As the books progressed and Nash remained a loyal and valuable member of the MC, I’d quietly resigned myself to the former scenario, as much as I adored both his character and Orla’s. Therefore, I was thrilled to find out that Leigh was breaking pattern to give them not one but two books to explore their current relationship and broaden its scope with the inclusion of Locke. Leigh keeps this story solidly on the queer romance spectrum with Locke openly pansexual and Nash coming to accept his bisexuality.
I do know and understand that some readers might give this duology a pass because Leigh introduces a female character into the mix. However, while Orla’s status as a Rebel Queen, with no official seat on the MC council, may give her a different status within the club, it makes her absolutely no more or less than the other main characters we’ve had the pleasure to meet so far. Orla has no problem acknowledging and balancing the power of her position with the distance it forces upon her, and the times she struggles with these have more to do with how much she loves and worries about the rest of this amazing found family, not necessarily as a direct reflection of her gender.
Nash and Orla may start out this story as a solid couple, but one thing I especially appreciated about this book is that none of the angst about including Locke stems from either internal or external concern about him “breaking up” a couple. That both Orla and Nash have been honest with each other about their interest in him from the start is both refreshing and hot, especially since they are both equal in that interest. This story is not about Nash ending up with two partners or Locke “completing” anything Nash and Orla were missing, but instead, the three of them becoming stronger together. Half the fun of the beginning of this book is how much all three of them are kind of a mess for each other, and seeing them slowly piece each other together on different levels is simultaneously swoony and steamy.
Though I suppose this book could be read as a stand-alone, so much of what makes this series shine is the progressive depth that comes from knowing all of this extended found family so well. Once again, Leigh hits the perfect blend of MC shenanigans and family-oriented sweetness for these complicated characters that has become a defining theme of this series. The external plot is relatively subtle because the majority of this book involves the relationship progression, but Locke’s inclusion allows Leigh to circle back to one of the Rebel King MC’s original enemies. On paper, they may currently be the least threatening, but Locke’s history with them and that temptation to dismiss them makes them all the more terrifying in the long run.
Leigh has been up-front about this book being the first half of a two-parter, so the cliffhanger at the end is stressful but not unexpected. Overall, I enjoyed the unexpected twist, and I have no regrets about reading this book immediately rather than waiting for the next book to be available. What I’m more nervous about is how this book was relatively light on both the relationship and external plot fronts (light being relative compared with the rest of this series). I’m sure this means Leigh will pull no punches in the follow-up, and I’m excited to read that one as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.