Book Review: Riding Steele by Opal Carew

Riding Steele by Opal CarewTitle: Riding Steele
Series: Riding Steele, 0.1-0.6; Ready to Ride, Book 3
Author: Opal Carew
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, MC Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copies provided via NetGalley
Published: November 4 – December 2, 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
(The complete story in one book comes out March 17, 2015)

Being kidnapped by bikers is a harrowing experience, but for some reason, Laurie doesn’t feel as terrified as she should.  The leader’s steely eyes soften when he looks at her, and the others in his gang clearly know she’s hands off.  But does that include Steele's hands?  Her brain resists him, but her body insists she wants those big hands all over her.

Steele doesn’t know how he wound up in this mess—with a kidnapped woman on his hands and the police hot on their trail.  Now he and Laurie are in hiding at an isolated cabin, and Steele has to figure out how to extricate himself...and steer clear of his accidental captive whose tight, slinky clubbing attire is making him think all kinds of dangerous thoughts…

Note: Riding Steele is a serialized novel in the Ready to Ride series that is being released in 6 installments, and will also be published in one volume. I am reviewing this serial as one complete piece of work.

Why I Read this Book: First, I have a confession to make: I am not a fan of serials. It feels like a marketing ploy to get more money for what is essentially ONE book and I do not have the patience to wait for the next ‘installment’, especially when being left with cliffhangers. With Riding Steele being the 3rd book in a series, I don’t understand why the decision was made to chop this book up into 6 parts. However, I couldn’t resist reading Riding Steele because it’s an MC Romance and I’m a sucker for those.

What I Liked: I had only requested the first installment, as this is a new-to-me author and I wasn’t sure what to expect being that this is part of a serial, but the writing captured my attention enough for me to quickly request the rest of the installments. Riding Steele has an interesting premise, and I was curious to find out why the bikers would kidnap Laurie, and what would happen with her once they had her in their hold.

There was some interesting backstory with Steele and with Laurie. There’s a sad and unfortunate event that took place in Steele’s life. Laurie is trying to break things off with her overbearing boyfriend. These elements shaped who these characters are.

I really liked and appreciated how each installment started off with the last scene that took place in the preceding installment. While I pretty much read these installments back-to-back, readers who choose to read this serial in installments as they come out will surely appreciate this.

What I Didn’t Like: There was no real hierarchy in the ‘club’ so it didn’t really feel like an actual MC to me. Steele is referred to as the “leader”, not president, and none of the other members had a role in the club. It was just a group of guys, and a woman, who hang out and ride together. Not exactly the type of foundation I look for in a MC romance but I’ll take it. And the way the guys funded their simplistic lifestyle was a bit farfetched. None of the guys had a job, that I recall.

Let’s talk about the sex. I like smut but this was a bit too much for me. Not necessary a bad thing, just not my thing as I prefer one-on-one relationships while Steele doesn’t mind sharing his woman. I hadn’t read either of the other two books in this series, and the blurb didn’t give any hint of how erotic this story is, so I had no idea until about 1/3 of the way into the 2nd installment.

Also, giving someone not one, but two safe words doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Laurie is not experienced in BDSM, so for Steele to give her two safe words with two different meanings to remember didn’t make sense to me.

And for all the boinking going on, nobody used a condom nor did anyone talk about birth control of any sort. After seeing an orgy take place before her very eyes, I’d have thought Laurie would have insisted on protection. She doesn’t know any of these people, and they’re casually swapping and sharing sexual partners.

Lastly, Laurie and Steele’s relationship was an insta-love, which is not my favorite.

Overall Impression: Riding Steele was a good read though it was a little too bow-chicka-wow-wow for my liking, which I was totally unprepared for as there was NO indication to the level of erotica mentioned in the blurb. But for those who enjoy extremely erotic romance (we’re talking orgies, sharing partners, BDSM elements, and M/M action) and enjoy MC romance, I’d say this is the book for you.

Let’s talk price: If you’re a fan of serials and love the anticipation that comes with them, and don’t mind paying more to be able to read each installment as soon as it comes out ($1.99 for about 35-40 pages, which comes to about $12 for all 6 installments), then I would say to get them as they come out. There were minor cliffhangers at the end of each installment but nothing too extreme that I couldn’t wait a week for the next installment. But if you’re like me and would rather read Riding Steele in its entirety all at once, then wait until the complete novel releases in March 2015 and get it at the discount price of $3.99.

Brianna’s Rating:
3 Frogs

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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


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