lets just start off by saying that I rated this story a 4.5 star. The reason being, I was so excited, and eagerly anticipating a HUGE dangerous & dramatic scene at the end... and I didn't get one (or the one I was expecting (sorry!).
I get what KA was doing.. any possible risk of losing Shy being the most devastating thing that Tabby would have to go through again being an enormous tragedy, but for me it just wasn't that... on the edge, chewing your nails, wondering what's going to happen next climax that I'm so used to in KA stories.
What I LOVED about this story was being able to witness Shy and Tabby growing up and maturing.
1) Tabby 19 years old - Shy 23: Tabby partying with her friends & Shy over-reacting and ending up being a dick to her. He breaks her heart.
She gives him a kiss to let him know what he's missing out on (and he never forgets the taste of). Tabby then straightens up, focuses on her studies to become a nurse, and makes him invisible for a couple of years.
2) Tabby then on the street with her boyfriend, all dolled up, and looking at him like there's no one else in the world around them. Shy sees them together and realizes that if he wants to have "that" then he better stop acting like a dawg.
3) Tabby's fiancé (Jason) is killed in a car accident, and Shy knows he can't go to her directly (because he's still invisible to Tabby) but helps her and supports behind the scenes.
4) After many months of mourning Jason's death, Tabby decides she needs a night out, so she goes out with her best friend since high-school, Nathalie. Nathalie never grew up and is still partying like crazy, except she's partying with a dangerous crowd. Tabby doesn't like the situation she's in and calls Shy because she doesn't want the club & her father to find out about it.
5) Once Tabby lets Shy 'back in', they start to build a different kind of relationship. They become good friends. They hang out, cook dinner together, watch movies, and go for rides. They also begin to trust one another with stuff they never shared with any one else.
6) Tabby goes to the compound one day, and sees Shy with another woman, and realizes he has an 'old lady'... and this almost kills her. She's upset, sad, and angry that Shy never told her he had a woman since she considered them really close. Shy calls her later on, and she freezes him out..again. After avoiding him for a couple of days, Shy is waiting for Tabby in her apartment when she gets home from work. She confronts him about 'Rosalie', and he loses his mind because he can't believe she's freezing him out, since he listened to her talk about her dead fiancé while she was in deep mourning and didn't hold that against her. He leaves mad because now he doesn't want to have anything to do with her for awhile.
7) After a month of not talking, Shy finds out that Tabby has taken a job across the country and is leaving soon. He freaks out, storms into her apartment and tells her she can't go... and then he kisses her..and she kisses him back. They both put all the feelings they've been holding into that kiss, and by the time they finish kissing they're both breathless, and weak kneed. Shy tells her she has 2 hours to get her shit sorted out, then she's to go to his apartment.
Tabby goes to Shy's apartment and they make love for the first time.
“I have never, not once, not in my life, made love to any woman. Not once. Not until what I just did with you.”
Tabby is scared and has a lot of questions about how their relationship is going to be, and because they have such an awesome foundation already in place, Shy knows exactly what Tabby worried about before she even has to voice it.
.... and this brings the reader to the most amazing place in the story. We've been able to be apart of their character and relationship development, and now we're finally able to see them be 'on the same page' as each other in their lives.
This is what I like to call a 'divine point' in their lives. They were destined to be together, but they had to go through all the other stuff first in order to reach this point. This is so they would be 'ready' for one another, and be prepared and equipped to take the next step that will shape their lives. It is because they've been through all the other stuff that they're able to stand together (strong) when they are attacked, and ridiculed by the people they know and love.
This is where the 'adventure & trouble' part of the story begins.
I really enjoyed this story, and I LOVED seeing Elvira, 'Hawk", Lee, Brock, and Mitch *sigh*.
... and the ending & epilogue BEAUTIFUL!
If your a fan of Bad-ass-biker dudes & and kick-ass, smart & sassy women - THEN READ THIS BOOK!!
"I'm alive. You're alive. I gotta work to live so I do that and I'll have to do that for a long lime. But when I'm not workin', I'm livin'. So let's ride."
"I dreamed a dream, Shy Cage."
He shifted so his hips were against mine and his voice was now raw when he ordered, "Shut up, baby, and kiss me."
"I dreamed a dream when I was sixteen and here I am, standing with my dream, feeling it come real."
"Fuck me," he muttered.
Then I knew he'd lost patience, because Shy slanted his head and kissed me.
I dreamed a dream and there I was, a ring on my finger, my man's mouth on mine, standing with my dream, feeling it come real.
I was feeling everything.
And it was beautiful."
"So Shy lowered his voice and reminded him, "She's not your little girl anymore, not like that. She may always be your , little girl in some ways, brother, but not like that. You gave me the chance, I would have told you, this is solid. We started out and it was friends. That wasn't what I wanted, it was what she needed, so I gave it to her. We built on that. The foundation is laid and it's the kind that holds fast. This is it, brother. We're livin' together. Soon's we can do it, we're movin' to a better fuckin' place so I can provide her a decent home. I'm puttin' my ring on her finger, I'm givin' her babies, and when she's laid to rest, that ring I give her will still be on her finger. I see you're accepting this now, so you need it all and there it is. I was a part of an us and I was happy. Some motherfucker killed my parents and took that from me, so life forced me to become nothin' but me. Now I'm an us again, and that's what I'll be with my woman and the family we make until the fucking day I die."
"Christ, Shy," Tack whispered.
"I think now you totally fuckin' feel me."
"The best part of the ceremony was after Shy kissed his bride, and when we were done, he didn't let go. So I stood in his arms, my thumb stroking his jaw, my eyes gazing up at him. the world had melted away, so I didn't hear the hoots and hollers of friends and family.
I only heard what he muttered in a voice that was weirdly raw but unbelievable beautiful: "Like I'm the only man on the planet."
In that minute, he was but then again, for me, really, when it came down to it, he always had been."
** I would like to send out a HUGE shout-out to Dorsey for being my 'buddy' during this read.. Thank-you luv, I had fun!!