ON KINDLES TODAY
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1997
When Richard “Maverick” Helm walks out the gate of the state penitentiary, after four hard years inside, he doesn’t know what life he has left waiting for him. Abandoned by the love of his life, a stranger to his only child, Maverick turns to his club, the Brazen Bulls MC, and holds on.
But he’s not sure of the club any longer, either. The Bulls have changed since he went inside, and they’d all but forgotten him.
Before Maverick can find a life worth living, he must heal the family he’d had—his woman and his child—and he must find his fit with his brothers. To do either, he must remember the man he was, and decide who he wants to be.
The love of Jenny Wagner’s life promised her a beautiful future. He swore he’d be there for her and their daughter forever. He wanted to be her hero, and she believed that he would be. Then he left her alone before their baby was born—and what he did left Jenny’s life in ruins. She’ll never forgive him.
But she’s never stopped loving him. Her anger arises from that deep, abiding love, and the pain of its betrayal.
Before Jenny can open herself and her daughter to a new life with Maverick, she must learn to trust again, and to be with him the strong woman she’s become without him.
It takes only a moment of reunion for Jenny to remember their love—a love Maverick’s never forgotten. It takes much longer to overcome the obstacles of the past and find a way to make a future together.
Note: explicit sex and violence.
‘For four years, he’d been living behind these fences, walls, and bars. Four years since he’d been outside without a gun aimed on him from a watchtower. In all that time, he’d never made a friend. Enemies, yes. But no friends.’
Maverick is doing time in the state pen where he’s had no contact with the outside world except for a couple brief meetings with his Bulls brother, Gunner. In the previous book, we get to meet Mav when Gunner has a brief meeting with him while he’s still in prison. At that moment I knew I was sold on needing his book.
Let’s start off with what we know about Mav.
1) He’s Gunner’s mentor and best friend. Mav gave the ‘wild’ Gunner something to focus on by introducing him to the Bulls.
2) He’s a dad to a little girl named Kelsey. He went into prison right before she was born and only has a picture with her name and birthdate on it. Until Gunner gave him another picture years later.
3) Jenny, Kelsey’s mom, was so mad that Mav ended up prison she cut all ties to him.
Only having that little bit of info about Mav intrigued me. I wanted to know why he was in prison, why Jenny refused to see him or send him pictures of their daughter, etc. My interest was piqued and I wasn’t disappointed discovering those answers among others as I flipped the pages of this book.
The story fluctuates between the current time (1997) to the past. This helped round out the characters and allowed readers to get a better understanding on what motivated these two’s actions. When the reader sees their family life from when they were children there’s an ‘ah-ha’ moment on understanding why these two have such strong beliefs on how a family should look.
“You’re gonna have to make a family for yourself. And when you do, you hold it close and keep it safe like a precious gift. You hear?”
Above is a piece of advice given to Mav when he turned 18 from someone who helped raise him. When I read that line my heart clenched for him. Shortly after the book starts he’s out of prison and trying to get his family back. Unfortunately, Jenny felt betrayed when he got locked up in the slammer because he wasn’t there for her and the baby when she needed him the most.
Jenny and Mav’s love story isn’t an easy path and there’s a lot of work for them to be able to reconcile but that path of discovery was one that makes their relationship solid. Their love story is one of struggle and perseverance.
I loved their daughter, Kelsey, she’s adorable. She made me miss my girls being that age. The cuteness of being 4 years is in the things they say because they still have their innocence and yet they’re very perceptive.
SLAM is not wrapped up in a neat little bow, but instead, it’s a story that takes you through the struggles of the mc life and prison life. At the core of the Brazen Bulls series is family. A family isn’t always determined by blood but can be those people you choose to allow in your life. You can read this series without having read any of the other MC series Ms. Fanetti has written, so far. This series is set back, in time, before her other series … in the 90’s.
**Complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.**