UndauntedSeries: Knights in Black Leather #1
by Ronnie Douglas, Melissa Marr
Published by HarperCollins, William Morrow on September 15th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Being fearless has never looked so good . . .
Aubrey Evans needs to get her life back on track after her father is indicted for embezzlement. All she has to do to hightail it out of small-town Tennessee is save up money for college tuition and steer clear of hard-muscled boys on motorcycles. Yet there's no ignoring someone like Zion. A knight in black leather, Zion looks like every bad idea she's been told to avoid, but she can't resist him. Whenever she's in trouble, he's there. Appealing as his rough exterior may be, it's the protective, principled man beneath who tempts her like crazy.
Zion knows Aubrey doesn't intend to stick around. She claims to want only friendship, but he senses there's a naughty girl hiding on the inside—one whose intense desires match his own. For now, he'll be patient and play by her rules. But he knows it's just a matter of time before he weakens her resolve.
As they join forces to figure out who's behind a local crime spree, it's clear that the danger goes deeper than Aubrey guessed. And when she needs someone tall, dark, and undaunted to keep her safe, Zion intends to be there—now and always.
Undaunted is Ronnie Douglas’ first foray into the new adult genre. If you don’t recognize the author, that’s because it’s a pseudonym for Melissa Marr. She wrote this under a pen name so she could “experiment with being a debut author again” and from what else I gathered from her Ronnie Douglas website, she likes to keep her genre identities separate. She co-writes a middle grade series, The Blackwell Pages, as M.A. Marr. I first fell in love with Melissa Marr when I read her entire dark young adult urban fantasy series, Wicked Lovely.
As soon as I figured out that Ronnie was Melissa, I had to know what she was going to do with new adult. Especially because she noted that she wrote from experience.
If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, Ms. Marr has written the best description I’ve ever read of what it feels like to hold on to the back of a bike. I’ve only driven a bike once or twice (I’m short so I don’t feel comfortable holding a bike up on my own) but I much rather ride on the back of a bike while I hold onto a strong man and trust him with my life. I think the feeling was captured in words perfectly when Aubrey takes a ride on Zion’s bike for the second time.
Wait.. what am I talking about? I guess I should tell you a little about the story first.
Aubrey is twenty years old and has just moved across the country from Oregon to Tennessee to escape major family drama and fallout. She had a plan and she needs to get back to it: take college classes, get a job, and no dating. Unfortunately, break-ins and vandalism in her grandmother’s neighborhood disrupt the start of the her plan. Hot bikers on Harleys who step in and save you from creeps can also be distracting.
While I enjoyed all the interesting characters in this story, I just don’t think there was enough plot (or meat to the story) for them to come out and play to their potential. Zion was a very unique guy in that he was a very well rounded, smart guy who turned out phenomenally well (no angst, peeps) despite being raised by a bike club. I adored all the quirky personalities of the guys in the club and I wanted so much more time to meet their old ladies. From the way the club treated everyone in the town down to how they treated Aubrey and her grandmother, I loved all the side moments with the club and I wanted more details.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the story. I blew through it in one day because it was so easy to read and I was completely engaged. It was just an easy story to pick up and read off and on. A really easy story.
The story was kind of predictable and the formula was pretty standard for new adult romances. On the downside, there was a brief love triangle. On the positive side, I applaud the choice a certain character made at the end – it fit the character perfectly and only added to my love of “them”. So while I knew what was coming with the story, I was pleasantly surprised with little details along the way.
I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up the next book in the series, Unruly (due February 2016) if only to see what happens with Ellen, the feisty friend to Aubrey. She is another one of those fantastic characters on the sidelines and she definitely needs a HEA!