Advanced Reading Copy
Published: September 2, 2013, Crystal D. Spears Books
My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐
Withstanding Me is the second book in the Breakneck Series and although each book has an individual focus, the general red thread is the ongoing life within the world of the MC Breakneck. It is almost impossible to read these books as stand alone novels and I would highly recommend reading them in order. The firsts book to read would be Seize Me.
After a few months of unrest, mayhem and some significant losses, it was quiet for a little while in the Breakneck compound, but in this life that never lasts long. The new club has been opened and Storm, one of the rescued girls from a rival's 'stable' is now managing the place, while Braxxon and Winter are making other big plans for the future of the MC.
ZZ grew up in the compound, he knows no other life than that of a biker. At thirteen he found out he was a father when and older girl ended up dropping his daughter off at the clubhouse. Tatiana has been his ever since. Now eighteen herself, she is out of control, making his life a living hell. She has her eye on new member Shadow who is trying hard to keep his distance, not wanting to piss off his brother. Rival MC president Travis has taken a shine to Tatiana and that has her Breakneck family bedding over backwards to keep her safe. All the more reason for contrary Tatiana to drive especially her father nuts by slipping out from under her protection, ever chance she gets, and running into trouble.
Storm, only a handful of years older than Tatiana, tries to help ZZ out as much as she can. She has been in love with him since the night she was rescued, but the man doesn't do love, just sex. Or so he says.....but she's not buying it, and she's not giving anything away for free either. Not anymore! ZZ will have to make do with her being a friend only......that is until he wants more from her than a quick toss in the sack.
He just doesn't get it, normally ZZ has no trouble getting any action, and he knows for a fact that Storm likes him and he is plenty attracted to her so thats not an issue. But ever since she has been around, he hasn't been able to fire up any interest in anyone else and he is about to go nuts. Good thing she is a good friend and can be funny too, otherwise he's go completely nuts. ZZ is nothing if not persistent though, and before long Storm's resistance is wavering.....
Its just about that time that the shit hits the fan good again. The Russian Mafia, Winter's old family, have shown up again, this time their interest is a big mystery, until people start getting hurt. And first on that list is Storm, which shakes something up in ZZ ....... That's not the only thing that shakes him up though. Tatiana's bitch of a mother apparently left some information out when she dropped her off eighteen years ago........ Something pretty damn big!
Before you know it, families are back in lockdown, bullets are flying, blood is flowing.........
Dang, woman!!!! What do I do now??? I gave 4.5 stars to the first book, this one was even better, so it gets 5.....there is nothing more to give for the next one!!
It is very, very excellent!!!
Let me put out a warning first for sensitive readers. This book is NOT a fairy tale, it is a fairly realistic, raw, brutal and crass accounting of life within the world of a motorcycle club functioning on the shady side of legal. It ain't pretty, so don't expect the book or the language to be.
Ok, done with all the preliminaries, down to the good stuff, and there was lots and lots of good stuff.
First off, even though the MC is a predominantly male dominated environment, the main women in these books, although often from a used and abused background, are not pushovers. In fact I would dare to venture that in their own way, they hold a lot of control, they just do it without necessarily grunting or flexing their muscles. So if you think woman are portrayed as second rate, you are not reading carefully enough!
Secondly, this is such a completely different culture from what most of us experience as norm in our day to day life, that it is easy to form judgements, but to do so while reading this book, would severely disable you from enjoying the full scope it offers. The characters are amazing, so beautifully complex, with an almost uniformly gruff and scary exterior persona, that from the outside perhaps makes one difficult to distinguish from the other, but underneath as widely different as can be.
ZZ or Mason, his given name, was a father at thirteen, and despite his unorthodox methods is an excellent loving father. Sure, he may not win any awards, but he is reliable, protective, and supportive. He is completely enamoured with Storm, but writes it off as a physical obsession that he will be able to get over once he has had her body under him. Of course, there is much more than just her body that draws him to her, her beauty is part of it, but also her smarts, her giving nature, her ability to connect with his daughter and the way she has settled into his family and his lifestyle as smoothly as if she has never known anything else.
Determined to overcome her horrible experiences at the hands of the white slave traders, Storm chooses to do things based on her own wants and needs. Sure, she will do for people she cares about as well, but she won't allow people to run over her. Storm knows ZZ is capable of love, capable of loving her, it is just not something he has ever considered for himself, and boy is she tempted to give in, she wants him so bad. But she isn't going to. She'll give him friendship and she'll stand by him, but that is as far as she will go. Time and circumstances eventually make her question that resolve and she gives in. Which, ironically, seems to flare the feelings ZZ claimed for so long not to be able to produce.
Every aspect of this book is combustible......the conflicts, the emotions, the relationships, the sex, the action.....it is like the story is continually vibrating with energy. Crystal Spears doesn't allow the reader one minute to breathe. We are thrown from one perspective into another, allowing us as complete a picture of the story as possible, never letting us miss any of the nuance and ensuring our full view. Crystal knows her characters well, she knows the world she is allowing us to peek into, and she is not holding back. Not. One. Thing.
✨A beautiful, brutally honest tale of brotherhood, cruelty and love.✨
**ARC courtesy of the author in return for an honest review.**