You may have noticed that I’m a sucker for books about motorcycle clubs. I’m especially intrigued when one offers a different perspective or unique take on these books, as this one does. This story definitely lands on the darker, more violent side of the spectrum of MC books. However, if you are a fan of very dark antiheroes, read on.
Christina Nickleson used to have a happy and carefree life. It came to a standstill when her parents were murdered when she was 18. Since then, she has isolated herself from the world that wronged her. Christina takes solace in working for child services to help abandoned and abused children and writing letters to Inmate #18794 to try to make sense of the violence that ripped apart her life. Little did she know that her letters meant as much to the prisoner as it did to her.
Cam Farrell, Inmate #18794 and president of Moroad MC, relied on those letters from a scared girl to get him through the last two years of his latest stint in the pen. Everything is starting to come together with gun business for the MC and getting his freedom back. The only piece left is to claim the woman behind those letters at any cost. Cam draws Christina in by claiming Jeremy, a kid on the verge of being thrown in the system that Christina had taken a shine to.
Christina, uneasy about Jeremy’s new home life, unwittingly walks directly into Cam’s trap when she comes to the house to check up on the kid. The next thing she knows, Christina finds herself behind locked doors with promises from the terrifying man that his men have orders to shoot to kill should she try to escape. Cam proceeds to employ “Stockholm Syndrome”-like tactics in get Christina to come around and rely on him for strength and protection as she once did through her letters. At first, Christina tries any means necessary to get Cam or someone to release her, believing that the kill order was no bluff. The tide only starts to turn in their relationship when she discovers that her trusted inmate and Cam are one and the same. Between Cam’s ploys, her tenderness for her inmate and Jeremy’s safety, Christina’s head is completely messed up (#DUH).
Cam is pretty black and white as a character. He grew up a survivalist with a dog-eat-dog mentality. He has no morals and exists solely for the MC. MC members usually trot out brotherhood as the main reason they live and die for a club, but Cam is even different from most MC characters in that he doesn’t even trust his brothers. Cam lives each day to the fullest because it is all considered borrowed time to him. In that vein, he rationalizes the brutal choices he makes. The only bit of tolerance and concession in his life goes to Christina, but even that is jacked up. He protects her at the same time he threatens her. He wants her to feel free at the same time confining her. I had no problem understanding his motivations, but other readers might. Don’t expect a redeemed hero because he isn’t going to change.
Christina’s feelings for Cam are a bit trickier to pin down. The reader is told that through the letters that the inmate was directly responsible for healing Christina in the wake of her personal tragedy. Unfortunately, I always felt like there was a piece missing that I wasn’t getting. Perhaps if more of the letters between them were included, I would understand the connection more. She clearly abhors his life and all the violence that comes with it and that never changes. For sure, sex isn’t an issue and the scene at the halfway mark was fully alpha dirtiness. She isn’t meek but still retains a virginal air about her that had me questioning her rationalizations about the relationship. I feel like I just needed more information to understand how the two of them together work.
The strongest part of the story is suspense of the gun running and various plots from rival clubs to get to Cam, both on the outside and inside prison. The author sets the stage for a multitude of angles and leaves the reader at an interesting cliffhanger for book two. While I feel like I was missing something from the romance part of the story, I was certainly engaged with a different take on the survival of a motorcycle club. Readers of Madeline Sheehan and Susan Fanetti might be interested. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next book.
*ARC provided by author
Click to purchase: Amazon
Wrapped Around Him
by Debra Kayn
Release Date: February 3, 2015